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Review of THE CHRISTMAS SECRET by Wanda E. Brunstetter

Publisher: Shiloh Run Press | Published: October 1, 2016 | Formats: eBook (144 pages), Paperback (144 pages), and Audio | ASIN: B01LZ554R8, ISBN: 9781634096751, and Audio ASIN: B01LYI8HJ3 | Origin: NetGalley

 

Cover: Courtesy of NetGalley

 

Thoughts:

Inside THE CHRISTMAS SECRET by Wanda E. Brunstetter, we are living in Allentown, Pennsylvania during the 1880’s at a joyous time when Elizabeth Canning prepares for her birthday wedding to David Stinner!

She and her betrothed will be living in the cabin her family built inside years passed. It’s small and cozy with both good and bad memories stored inside, but the good far outweigh the bad. In losing her mother, she lost much, but Elizabeth believes her mother would be happy that she is traveling the same wedded path upon her Christmas Eve nuptials. Helped by a friend, Elizabeth is at the cabin setting it up to be home, and she’s finding past family trinkets and remembering long told stories along the way until their work is done. Now, Elizabeth is awaiting her David and sets to read an old journal that she found while believing she’s about to discover some funny stories to share, but something goes terribly wrong.

Meanwhile, David Stinner’s business is bustling with orders, and although he is still learning, he’s off to a wonderful start. His soon-to-be wife has no problem with waiting to buy a home until his business expands, and her family is even providing the small place as their home. Who would have expected his life would be moving so fast, doing so well, and that he would be this happy?

When he arrives at the cabin to bring Elizabeth back to her father’s house, he can tell she’s just not right. Despite her protestations of being tired from the work, she steadfastly refuses his help in deference to their honor without a chaperone. True and understandable. He knows she is correct, and her understandings of such things are more reasons why he is in love with Elizabeth.

He’s busy at the shop, and she has become ill. Her family believes this will pass and that she’ll be fine enough for a visit soon they say until a letter tells him otherwise.

Elizabeth Canning has just called off their wedding and already left town!

Her family does not know where she has gone or why and are worried. David is working his contacts to find out where she would go since not even her friend will say. Does she not know? On the other hand, is she not telling him?

He will prove his love for Elizabeth and find her even if it means putting his business aside. Surprises are abounding on this journey as secrets are revealed.

 

***This opinion is my own.***
 

Preview:

As the wedding nears, Elizabeth Canning is planning for a wonderful life married to the man she loves until her dream becomes hopeless from a secret that will hurt many!

David Stinner worries about his betrothed’s sudden illness, but her family maintains she will be fine that is until she leaves town without their knowledge. At a loss and frantic, David commits to finding her.

Once the secret is out and he finds Elizabeth, will the results leave David completely shattered?

 

 

 

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Review of WINNING YOUR DAILY SPIRITUAL BATTLES: Living Empowered by the Armor of God by Linda Evans Shepherd

Publisher: Revell | Published: October 18, 2016 | Format: eBook and Paperback (210 pages) | ASIN: B01M1DYGLV and ISBN: 9780800727093 | Origin: NetGalley

 

Cover: Courtesy Revell

Thoughts:

WINNING YOUR DAILY SPIRITUAL BATTLES: Living Empowered by the Armor of God by Linda Evans Shepherd. Wait! Wait . . . Um . . . Exactly, what is the Armor of God?

In this Inspirational read, based on the Bible, the Armor of God is already ours and is in the Scriptures, but as Christians, we sometimes forget all that we have and venture on without our faith proven protection.

The author demonstrates that we must think of our spiritual journey as faith with purpose, but the enemy doesn’t want us to reach our destinations.

Spiritual Warfare is real. It is happening. In addition, it’s closer to you than you believe!

Prayers, personal stories, an allegory, the Bible, affirmations, and Scripture show us the God-given protection to go onward for all to see His works in us. However, once we land upon those easy days of doing all things in His name, we wonder what all this fuss is about. This thought will remain until you come to your first spiritual battle that impedes you from your destiny.

You may not recognize the person, place or thing, but you will recognize the changes, the fear, and the pain after reading this book. Moreover, you’ll know what you need to do to get back on track!

I most certainly do recommend this read.

 

***This opinion is my own.***

 

Preview:

Linda Evans Shepherd’s WINNING YOUR DAILY SPIRITUAL BATTLES: Living Empowered by the Armor of God provides the protection for an emboldened faith life that we already have, even if we didn’t realize how to use it.

Her personal stories, prayers, affirmations, and Scripture references will be a guide throughout this faithful destiny. These tools will help break through barriers, ties, problems, hurts, and lies that the enemy uses, and a victorious life will be His inside our destiny of purpose.

 

 

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Review of SLEIGH BELLS RING: Four Romance Contemporary Novellas by Sandra D. Bricker, Barbara J. Scott, Lynette Sowell, and Lenora Worth

Publisher: Gilead Publishing | Published: October 14, 2016 Formats: eBook and Paperback (266 pages) | ASIN: B01IJVQ8HK and ISBN: 9781683700074 | Origin: NetGalley 

 

Cover: Courtesy NetGalley

 

Thoughts:

SLEIGH BELLS RING: Four Romance Contemporary Novellas by Sandra D. Bricker, Barbara J. Scott, Lynette Sowell, and Lenora Worth examines parental and sisterhood bonds to uncover more than the Tucker sisters ever expect.

The four siblings are scattered across the country as their lives move in different directions away from where they grew up. With their estranged father now deceased, these ladies inherit his horse farm. It was a place of fun, pain, angst, and tears and going back will not be easy. Old wounds will open and may heal. The fun times can resurface bringing life to a lifetime of memories and some sadness too, but this Christmas holiday will give them many new memories to share.

Some good? Some bad?

Readers, bring some tissues while you learn how an inheritance can strengthen these shared bonds and romance may blossom from the ashes!

***This opinion is my own.*** 

Preview:

SLEIGH BELLS RING: Four Romance Contemporary Novellas by Sandra D. Bricker, Barbara J. Scott, Lynette Sowell, and Lenora Worth is about romance and memories.

With their life stories vast and different, the four Tucker girls inherit their childhood horse farm. When their mother died, one was young and still living at home. From then on, all they had left was an estranged father.

Meanwhile, in Tuck’s later years, he found faith and passed onto his daughters the only thing he believed that he could. He wished his life had been different with them and even for them, but he was at peace before his passing. Tuck forever leaves them the best of him. Did he find a way to bring his girls’ home, again? For Christmas?

 

Review of THE CAUTIOUS MAIDEN (The Everstone Chronicles Book 4) by Dawn Crandall

Publisher: Whitaker House | Published: October 4, 2016 | Format: eBook (324 pages) and Paperback (304 pages) | ASIN: B01LOUGO6I and ISBN: 9781629117508 | Series: The Everstone Chronicles Book 4 | Origin: Author 

Cover: Courtesy of Author

Thoughts:

Hidden motives? Tarnished reputations? Family embarrassments? Outcasts? Loves? Losses? Winnings? Risks? Oh!

Inside THE CAUTIOUS MAIDEN (The Everstone Chronicles Book 4), Dawn Crandall brings us into the life of an Everston employee. Pain and fear lunge at Violet Hawthorne through flyby schemes to cover the actual reasoning of which everyone else may already know. She needs protection from a debtor whom will collect what is owing. Due to her brother’s actions, Violet is already out of her ancestral home and is working and thriving due to the kindness of Dexter Blakely.

When her brother comes around, he’s usually wanting something from her, but what happens to Violet next will leave behind a new look and haunting memories as terrifying moments with a knife to her back remain.

Her comfortable employment, her new friendships, and her new living condition end despite the innocence of Violet. However, Vance Everstone’s influence makes everyone believe she is guilty of the scandalous charges. Now, Dexter tells her that she must leave, and as helpless as a woman could be in the 1890’s, she watches two men prepare a future which she does not want.

They assure they are doing this to protect her. Are they? Alternatively, is there more to the story than anyone really knows?

She must play the formal role of a happy soon-to-be wife of someone she doesn’t know. Meanwhile, Vance Everstone must convince the family that he is in love with her and that he’s a changed man.

The pain she is feeling may just take her to a new place, but this cover up can still implode!

***This opinion is my own.***

Preview:

THE CAUTIOUS MAIDEN (The Everstone Chronicles Book 4), Dawn Crandall shows Violet Hawthorne working after her brother turned their deceased parents’ home into a brothel.

Her work provides room and food. Moreover, her honor is safe.

Although her parents raised her to be a lady, their middle of the road income did not afford the benefits provided to those who come to Everston. Ladylike ways carry Violet to friendships not usual to one at her station in life, and she has come to be comfortable and content where she is until her reputation takes a downturn.

She’s out of a job, out of her comfort level, and engaged to a man she would never choose to marry. Vance Everstone’s reputation is too conspicuous.

As she prepares for an unwanted wedding, Violet finds that not everyone is as deceived as she believes. This duping to cover up their standing comes second once she knows a man stalks her. He wants her regardless because she is his to collect thanks to her brother.

During this time, she manages to fall hard for a family surrounding her who may never become hers thanks to Rowen Steel!

October Releases (as per ACFW Blog)

October 2016 New Releases

More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Biblical Fiction:

Providence: Hannah’s Journey by Barbara M. Britton — When the prophet of Israel refuses to heal her, Hannah flees Jerusalem and is captured by an enemy with a curse all his own. (Biblical from Harbourlight [Pelican])

Shadow of the Storm by Connilyn Cossette — In defiance of her mother, Shira pursues her heart’s calling to become an apprentice midwife. When a delivery goes horribly wrong, Shira finds herself bound to a man who betrayed her, the caretaker of three young children, and the target of a vengeful woman whose husband was killed by Shira’s people, the Levites. As contention between the Hebrew tribes and the foreigners fans the flames of another dangerous rebellion, Shira will come face-to-face with the heartbreak of her past that she has kept hidden for so long. How can she let go of all that has defined her to accept the love she’s denied herself and embrace who she truly is? (Biblical from Bethany House [Baker])

Christmas Novella:

Christmas Lights by Chautona Havig, Vikki Kestell, Cathe Swanson, and April Hayman — From historical romance to contemporary cozy mysteries and Christmas wonder, these four “light” reads will warm your heart and ignite your Christmas spirit! (Christmas Novella, Mixed Genres, Independently Published)

Contemporary Romance:

Risking Love by Brenda S. Anderson — Can cautious bank employee Lissa Morgan risk falling in love with a former thrill-seeker, a widowed single dad, when she may have to foreclose on his house? (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

A Mom for Christmas by Lorraine Beatty — Noah’s dream of a happy family and Beth’s dream of a continuing ballet career are both dashed, but when they come together they discover that the Lord might have a new dream for both of them. (Contemporary Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Sleigh Bells Ring by Sandra D. Bricker, Barbara J. Scott, Lynette Sowell, and Lenora Worth — Santa Claus is coming to town, and so are the Tucker sisters. The girls have inherited their father’s run-down horse farm for Christmas. It needs some serious TLC in order to make it sell-ready. Joanna knows that by recruiting her sisters and one handsome ranch hand they can fix up the place and even celebrate one last Christmas while they’re at it. However, to Isabella, returning to their home in Kentucky bluegrass country for Christmas seems like an impossible hurdle. Can her Chicago boyfriend make life merry and bright again? One thing’s for sure: nothing is peace on earth for Sophia as a new beau brings up old wounds. And when the fate of the horse farm is put in jeopardy because Amy accidentally fraternizes with the enemy, tensions rise. But it’s not like the land developer stole Christmas . . . just her heart. Can the Tucker sisters have themselves a merry little Christmas? (Contemporary Romance from Gilead Publishing)

Do You Hear What I Hear? by Margaret Brownley — Stranded at the old Star Inn until the road back to his cabin reopens, lumber mill owner Rick Talbot suddenly comes face to face with the past. The only woman he’s ever loved is standing in front of the inn’s blazing fire trying to get warm. Both Rick and Sally regret what happened between them years ago, but his family lumberyard clashes with her tree-hugging ways and neither is willing to try again. It will take the storm of the century, one stage-struck young boy, a certain meddling “angel”–and even a cranky cat–to convince them that in matters of the heart, sometimes the second time around is best. (Contemporary Romance from St. Martin Press)

More Than a Tiara by Valerie Comer — Marisa Hiller abandoned her modeling career to nurse a broken heart in Montana, far from the photographer who ruined everything. Her family farm is now part of a CSA program teaching gardening and cooking to single moms, but when the coordinator begs her to represent the program in the Miss Snowflake Pageant, Marisa balks. God has forgiven Jase Mackie but hasn’t answered his prayer to bring Marisa back into his life… until Jase finds himself out West as the official photographer for a beauty pageant, face to face with the woman he’s never forgotten. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Room at the Inn for Christmas by Mary Connealy — Ambitious hotel executive Amanda Star’s has got her sights set on the CEO job at the multi-national Halston hotel chain. But then she inherits the Star Inn, a place her father had always wanted her to run alongside him. With no time to be away from her job, she rushes home to put the inn up for sale. Once there, she’s struggles against keen regret, sweet memories, and the longing to return, which grows stronger when she is reunited with an old classmate: Anthony Carter, a handyman with a guarded heart. (Contemporary Romance from St. Martin Press)

Can’t Help Falling by Kara Isaac — A funny, heartfelt romance about how an antique shop, a wardrobe, and a mysterious tea cup bring two C.S. Lewis fans together in a snowy and picturesque Oxford, England. (Contemporary Romance from Howard [Simon & Schuster])

A Christmas Homecoming by Kimberly Rose Johnson — Interior design assistant Bailey Calderwood suspects the mysterious admirer sending her cards and flowers is none other than the son of her unpleasable, bed-ridden boss. When Stephen Belafonte’s mom demands he fire Bailey, can he find a way to heal the rift in his family as well his own heart, or will he be forced to let Bailey go? (Contemporary Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

Where Two Hearts Meet by Liz Johnson — When Caden Holt’s boss asks her to show off their own beautiful Prince Edward Island to impress a visiting travel writer and save the Red Door Inn, the reclusive executive chef is forced to face a world much bigger than her kitchen–and a man who makes her wish she was beautiful. (Contemporary Romance from Revell [A Division of Baker Publishing Group])

Trust My Heart by Carol J. Post — Grant McAllister, a jaded big-city lawyer and small-town reporter Jami Carlisle have no hope for finding true love–except for a zany old matchmaker who won’t give up. In the unspoiled beauty of the Smoky Mountains, there’s healing and forgiveness to be found. And for Grant, this unplanned detour may be just what’s needed to finally guide him home. (Contemporary Romance from Waterfall Press)

Insight by Deborah Raney — She’s having a baby. It’s a blessing that brings comfort to newly widowed Olivia Cline. Yet with no insurance, no job and precious little money, how will Olivia care for herself and her child? The answer is a handsome and brooding artist seeking an assistant. Reed Vincent has recently regained his eyesight thanks to a donor. And through his eyes, Olivia begins to see all the possibilities before her. Before them. Until, in a flash of insight, she knows why his signature is so hauntingly familiar. (Contemporary Romance from Raney Day Press)

Silver Bells by Deborah Raney — As Elvis croons from the radio and Christmas descends upon a small Kansas town, two people find the miracle of love. (Contemporary Romance from Raney Day Press)

A Family Under the Christmas Tree by Terri Reed — In this heartwarming tale set during the Christmas season, a single father and a fashion photographer are brought together by a young boy and a mischievous Bernese mountain dog–but first they must learn to set aside their differences if they are willing to let their relationship bloom. (Contemporary Romance from Howard [Simon & Schuster])

Third Strand of the Cord by Catherine Richmond — Caroline will do anything to keep her ex-husband from putting her son with Down syndrome in an institution–even enroll the boy in a class taught by a know-it-all karate instructor. Lee Marivaux is an expert at reading people. He knows his feisty new student will thrive with firm guidance – and he’s right. He pegs the boy’s mother as a clueless socialite who loafs at the country club – and he’s never been so wrong. When Caroline’s abusive ex shows up, demanding custody, Lee and Caroline must join forces to keep the boy safe. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Buying Love by Toni Shiloh — Impatient for marriage, Nina Warrenton places an ad in the newspaper for a husband–attaching a monetary reward. But when she begins to fall for the small-town chef who answers her add, she realizes how much she wants him to love her and not her money. Dwight Williams needs fast cash to save the family restaurant, but can he let it go to prove his love for Nina? (Contemporary Romance from Celebrate Lit)

Moonlight Over Manahttan by Carrie Turansky — Professional organizer Sarah Montgomery is hired to organize her elderly neighbor’s cluttered apartment by Justin Latimer, her neighbor’s grandson. Sarah believes free-spirited Justin is a lazy, unemployed poet who is taking advantage of his grandmother’s generosity. Though attracted to him, she guards her heart against her growing feelings. As Sarah and Justin work together to help his grandmother and enjoy Christmas events in NYC, romantic sparks fly. When Sarah discovers who Justin really is, she must decide if she will continue to hide behind her protective wall or open her heart and embrace love. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

Love Bears All Things by Beth Wiseman — Charlotte Dolinsky needs time to recover after breaking up with her boyfriend, Ryan. But when a surprise visitor shows up on her doorstep in Texas, she’s forced to put aside her own worries to help her Amish friends in Lancaster County. Daniel Byler struggles each day in his Amish community to heal from his fiancée’s betrayal. When he discovers that a member of his family is in danger of being shunned, his pain turns to fear. His only way to help is by partnering with Charlotte, a woman he barely knows who has already deceived them all before. (Contemporary Romance from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

General Contemporary (includes Women’s Fiction):

Paint The Storm by Dawn V. Cahill — When Meg is challenged to love her lesbian daughter as Christ would, she struggles to live out God’s command, and when her daughter goes missing, she finds herself joined with the unlikeliest of allies in her search for Linzee, and finally learns of God’s unconditional grace for sinners. (Contemporary Women’s Fiction from Spring Mountain Publishing)

Restoration Road by Elise Phillips — Mallory Andrews’s short trip back to Texas for her mother’s funeral quickly becomes a move home to help her grieving father with his contracting business. When her old crush, Tres, hires them for a restoration project Mallory falls in love with the crumbling old house. And when feelings bloom between her and Tres, she finds herself on the road to a brand new, unexpected life filled with faith, sweet tea, and fresh paint. (General Contemporary from Desert Breeze Publishing)

Above All Things by Deborah Raney — Expecting their first baby, Judd and Evette McGlin are thrilled to become parents. But the couple faces the ultimate test when Judd learns he already has a child: a six-year-old mixed-race girl born amid secrets and lies. Now, Evette must decide if she can accept the child. She thought she was open-minded–until hidden prejudices threaten the future of an innocent little girl, Evette’s marriage and the very notion of who she thinks she is. (Contemporary Women’s Fiction from Raney Day Press)

Restoring Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti — Alexis set out to restore a fieldstone farmhouse in need of repair. She didn’t expect to restore a life in the process. (General Contemporary from Worthy Inspired)

Strings of Faith by Terry Stafford — Darcy is a classically trained violinist who dreams of playing bluegrass and winning The National Oldtime Fiddle Contest in Weiser, Idaho. When tragedy strikes, Darcy lays her gift aside for her family and faces unimaginable pain and loss, leading to dissension with her husband, disappointing judgment from her church, and anger with God Himself. Can her gift of music survive when her life is turned upside down? (General Contemporary, Independently Published)

Historical:

The Lost Generation by Erica Marie Hogan — On August 5th 1914, the world changed forever. For John and Beth Young, it meant the happiness they finally achieved was snatched out from under them. For Emma Cote, it meant that her husband Jared would do his duty, despite her feelings. For Christy Simmons it meant an uncertain future with the boy she loved. The lives of six people, spread across the British Empire to America were changed forever. (Historical from Elk Lake Publishing Inc.)

Aboard Providence by Keely Brooke Keith — When an accident forces Jonah Ashton to serve as a ship’s physician, he boards the Providence with the plan to escort a group of families to their new settlement in South America and then return to Pennsylvania to finish medical school before rumors of Southern rebellion erupt into all-out war. What he doesn’t count on is getting lost at sea… and Marian Foster. When the settlers finally reach land, Jonah makes a startling discovery that changes everything, but will it change his heart? (Historical from Crossriver Media Group)

Historical Romance:

The Rails to Love Romance Collection by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer, Amanda Cabot, Lisa Carter, Ramona K. Cecil, Lynn A. Coleman, Susanne Dietze, Kim Vogel Sawyer, Connie Stevens, and Liz Tolsma — Journey the Transcontinental Railroad along with nine unlikely couples who encounter all the dangers and disappointments of traveling the rails in the late 1800s. From sight-seeing excursions to transports toward new lives, from orphan trains to circus trains, can romances develop into blazing love in a world of cold, hard steel? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Cowboy Christmas Homecoming by Mary Connealy, Ruth Logan Herne, Julie Lessman, and Anna Schmidt — For widow June Harper, another cold front is about to hit. Most call him Hugh. She’d call him Scrooge, except as the man ensures her needs are met, June can’t help but wonder how to meet the needs of his heart. Netty Lewis can take care of herself, has for a while now. And even if Roy, her hired help for the holidays, does take care of her, that doesn’t mean he cares for her or that he’ll stay past Christmas. Pastor Colton McCabe is not sure he’ll make it through the holidays with his new housekeeper. Grace can’t seem to do anything right but love. Perhaps being a homekeeper will earn her a permanent residence in his heart. Connie Lancaster is determined to return to St. Louis, and no cowboy can change her mind. But if Isaac can change her heart, maybe Connie will see the homecoming she’s been longing for isn’t to a place but a person. (Historical Romance from Gilead Publishing)

The Captive Heart by Michelle Griep — Stranded in a strange land, Eleanor Morgan faces starvation or marriage . . . but who wants to marry a murderer? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

The Rightful Heir by Angel Moore — Cowboy Jared Ivy must work with stranger Mary Lou Ellison until a judge comes to town and determines which one of them is the rightful heir to his family’s Texas newspaper. Intrepid reporter Mary Lou won’t lose the Pine Haven Record–the legacy he left her–without a fight. But when she and Jared stop sparring long enough to investigate a story together, they become a force to be reckoned with. Will they let their battle over the Record get in the way of something even more newsworthy: true love? (Historical Romance from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Christmas at Stoney Creek by Martha Rogers — When newspaper reporter Tom Whiteman befriends a homeless man named Joe, Tom decides to bring him home to Stoney Creek, Texas for Christmas. As Tom and his childhood friend Faith Delmont set out to learn the truth about the mysterious old man with the kind, sad eyes, they discover that God’s love can turn tragedy and loss to triumph, and that true love comes to those who wait. (Historical Romance from Realms [Charisma Media])

Mystery:

Another Day, Another Dali by Sandra Orchard — In order to regain her grandmother’s favor FBI Special Agent Serena Jones agrees to investigate a missing Salvador Dali painting. But when the evidence points to members of the owner’s own household, it becomes clear that Serena won’t be winning any popularity contests. Then Serena stumbles upon links to her grandfather’s unsolved murder. (Mystery from Revell [A Division of Baker Publishing Group])

Romantic Suspense:

Tangled Webs by Irene Hannon — After a disastrous Middle East mission ends his six-year Army Ranger career, Finn McGregor needs some downtime in the woods. But when someone threatens his neighbor, publishing executive Dana Lewis, Finn and Dana must work together to discover who wants her to leave her lakeside cabin before it costs both their lives. (Romantic Suspense from Revell [A Division of Baker Publishing Group])

Identity Unknown by Terri Reed — When a John Doe washes up on the shores of Calico Bay, no one knows who he is—including him. But one thing’s instantly clear to deputy sheriff Audrey Martin: the man’s marked for murder. And she’s the only one who can protect him from the assassins who lurk at every turn. The arrival of a team of men claiming he’s Canadian Border Services officer Nathanial Longhorn only further complicates the matter. As his memories slowly start drifting back, Nathanial and Audrey work to uncover who wants him dead and why. If they don’t, this Christmas might be their last. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Speculative:

A Time to Rise by Nadine Brandes — What more can you sacrifice than your life? Parvin Blackwater is dead. At least that’s what the Council and the world thinks. But her sacrifice tore down part of the Wall long enough to stir up hope and rebellion in the people. Parvin and Solomon must uncover the mysterious clues that Jude left behind in order to destroy the projected Wall once and for all. Meanwhile, the Council schemes to new levels of technology in its attempts to keep the people contained. Can a one-handed Radical and a scarred ex-Enforcer really bring shalom to the world? (Speculative Young Adult from Enclave Publishing)

Unblemished by Sara Ella — Eliyana can’t bear to look at her own reflection. But what if that were only one Reflection—one world? What if another world exists where her blemish could become her strength? (Speculative Young Adult from HarperCollins Christian Publishing)

Beast by Chawna Schroeder — For as long as Beast can remember, she has lived among her master’s dogs. With them she sleeps. With them she eats. With them she fights and struggles to survive. But through hunger and cold she dreams of one day becoming her master’s favorite, earning bones with meat and a place beside the fire. When her pack scatters after a surprise raid, Beast must defend herself against slavers, hunting down the loners. They are so strong, and she is only a beast . . . or is she? (Speculative Allegory from Enclave Publishing)

Accelerant by Ronie Kendig — He’ll destroy the world. But he must save it first. As the only able-bodied heir to the Fire Throne, Haegan, Prince of Seultrie must return to the Nine Kingdoms and fight for his people. But there are insidious forces at work. When reality itself falls into question, Haegan struggles to know where to fight, who to trust. Caught between duty to his country and duty to the world, Haegan must see clearly enough to choose the right path to save his devastated world. (Speculative High Fantasy from Enclave Publishing)

Thriller/Suspense:

Death in the Mind’s Eye by Rick Acker — It knows what you’re thinking. It knows when you’re lying. Does it know how to kill? San Francisco attorney Mike Webster and Dr. Johanna Anderson, a brilliant and beautiful psychologist, must clear Jo’s name of a malpractice case before the controversial, technologically-assisted Mind’s Eye therapy is seized by a shadowy finance firm and used as a weapon. (Thriller/Suspense from Waterfall Press)

The Warrior’s Seal by Ronie Kendig — A Special Forces team is thrust into a war with the past to save the president after an artifact unleashes a deadly toxin. Special Forces operative Cole “Tox” Russell and his team are tasked in a search-and-rescue–the U.S. president has been kidnapped during a goodwill tour. The mission nosedives when an ancient biblical artifact and a deadly toxin wipe out villages. Tox must stop the terrorists and the toxin to save the president. This is a free e-novella prequel! (Thriller/Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])

Deadly Infiltration by W. Richard Lawrence — Infiltrators inside the American government are betraying undercover agents while helping sneak weapons of mass destruction across our borders. To keep their work hidden, they are willing to murder anyone who gets in their way. Sara, a brilliant computer expert working for the FBI, finds herself caught in the middle. Sara’s young faith in God is gravely tested when she is framed for the murder of an FBI agent, forcing her to go into hiding. Meanwhile, Sara’s fiancé Derry lives up to a promise he made to her, and gives up his future to save her and hopefully the country. (Thriller/Suspense from Boarding House Publishing)

Western Historical:

Refining Fire by Carol Cox — Meet the Arizona Territory Brides. Four strong, independent women–each determined to stand on her own two feet, and not one of them looking for romance. But sometimes love shows up when you least expect it… (Western, Pioneer/Prairie, Independently Published)

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Review of THE SECOND HALF: A Novel by Lauraine Snelling

Publisher: FaithWords | Published: July 5, 2016 | Formats: eBook, Paperback, and Audio (368 pages) | ASIN: B01B1W0N3Y, ISBN: 9781455586172, and Audio ASIN: B01H5SFHD4 |  Origin: NetGalley

Cover: Courtesy of FaithWords

 

Thoughts:

In THE SECOND HALF: A Novel by Lauraine Snelling, we dig into retirement when it is not all that it’s supposed to be and is far from the dream, but is one of a stark and scary reality!

Ken Sorenson took retirement assured his legacy inside the famed Stone University was secure. He spent thirty years as Dean of Students, but realities help to throw a lifetime he spent creating overboard! Academia and office politics abound even when the end of an era is at Stone’s door.

Meanwhile, another war comes to this home front as his wife’s business is starting to take off just as he is slowing life down a notch.

Mona Sorenson gains some big wins. Her depression is under control, her business is reaching new heights, and the plan of retirement travel is close to hatching. Not to discount that Mona cannot wait for her husband’s hands to bring much more to what she has built.

Reality dampens this couple’s retirement expectation once the telephones begin to make their different music selections sing.

Her grown children have their own families, but Steig’s wife left him for another man. However, she left her husband and her own children, and Steig is going on deployment, again. His Special Forces designation takes him where these parents wish he wouldn’t go.

With little time to plan, as guardians, these two will raise two young grandchildren who struggle with abandonment issues and fear of the unknown. Now, the realities of raising children at this age, inside these current times, have two grandparents giving up what they wanted and falling in love with two kids who are taking their home to new levels of communication.

When nighttime visitors in uniform come upon their doorstep, their faith becomes lacking, as their fears become larger.

Trusting is not always easy, but it is always necessary!

***This opinion is my own.***
 

Preview:

THE SECOND HALF: A Novel by Lauraine Snelling brings retirement into focus when all the plans take a sudden but necessary detour.

Both Ken Sorenson and his wife Mona have plans on traveling and indulging into the bounty of retirement while Mona still runs her business. Travel and running a business are possible with today’s technology.

As a professional event planner, Ken’s retirement party is easy for Mona to plan and harder to keep the guest from figuring it all out. She could never pull a surprise on the Dean of Students that he didn’t figure out before time. Now, he is at Stone University in his last days before retirement and is under a fixed deadline. Plus, with all their travel talk, Ken is pondering destinations instead of being on her party planning tail. Not to doubt, her party planning experience keeps her on her toes too.

However, some of the best plans go off course, but their raising another family was not even a thought until the phone sings the right tune, guardianship happens, and someone goes missing!

 

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Review of MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS BRIDES: Nine Historical Novellas Celebrate Faith and Love in the Rocky Mountains by Mildred Colvin, Mary Davis, Susan Page Davis, Lena Nelson Dooley, Darlene Franklin, Debby Lee, Tamela Hancock Murray, Carrie Turansky, and Gina Welborn

Publisher: Barbour Books | Published: September 1, 2016 Formats: eBook and Paperback (448 pages) | ASIN: B01K3TSMPC and ISBN: 9781634098908 | Origin: NetGalley 

 

Cover: Courtesy NetGalley

 

Thoughts:

MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS BRIDES: Nine Historical Novellas Celebrate Faith and Love in the Rocky Mountains by Mildred Colvin, Mary Davis, Susan Page Davis, Lena Nelson Dooley, Darlene Franklin, Debby Lee, Tamela Hancock Murray, Carrie Turansky, and Gina Welborn uncovers reissued romances.

You’ll fall in love with history from the first to the last!

These old-world stories bring us to small logging towns and cityscapes and from the late 1800’s into the early 1900’s. We meet people from these days and watch them find love in the least likely places, where hope grows along with faith.

With only a sampling inside this review, I’ll share about two of the many stories where sensibilities, kindness, and love melt my heart.

ONE EVERGREEN NIGHT by Debbie Lee puts amazing storytelling in action from when we meet Frederick Corrigan. He’s a train engineer with a heart-of-gold, and he’s heading passed his courting days as he hustles across dangerous tracks to move his cargo of logs for processing at the mill. His focus is on safety and people as he works to save his father’s house from foreclosure. At this point in life, Frederick isn’t looking for a love, but he believes in His timing for everything.

While Emma Pearson despises her job in the rough and tumble logging camp, it provides enough money. Moreover, it’s close to the only family she has left. Her brother works in dangerous situations, and she worries for him and for herself. What would she do without her brother, Jake? In her mother’s second marriage the pain, abuse, and poverty were in every day. No. Passing her courting days was no matter to Emma. She will take care of herself and her kin and will remain from any man’s power. Anger seems to get the best of Emma as she learns her brother will work under Frederick Corrigan, and she has no qualms about telling him how she will hold him responsible if anything happens to Jake.

These two tangle a few times, but Frederick will do his best to keep Jake out of danger. He doesn’t know Emma’s story, but he knows enough to understand the love of family. He’s living to keep his dad out of debt, and she’s living to keep her brother safe. Maybe they have different ways about them, but they both hold precious values.

Another stellar read is in ALMOST HOME by Susan Page Davis where we come to love two childhood friends who were more like family until family squabbles tore them apart!

When they meet up again, they are both grown and almost unrecognizable to each until Patricia Logan’s desire to go home outsmart her safety fears.

At the livery stable, she wants to rent a sleigh to get the rest of the way home despite this weather. Her elder aunt is near to the baby’s arrival, and Patricia can’t be in town instead of at the ranch. When the livery will rent no horses for the sleigh, refusing to put them in danger of trying to outlast a blizzard, she seeks another way home.

A gentleman is just leaving with his own horses to go back that way, but he can’t be responsible for a woman in this mess. However, it doesn’t take long for Jared Booker to know the woman in front of him. She’s the same tomboy from around the Logan ranch during years past. Despite how pretty she is today, he’s not going to risk her life with him. However, the more she speaks, the more he doubts that she’ll stop trying to get home on her own.

This woman’s familiar, determined personality is under his skin, but will the Logan’s hate him the way the hate his father? Will the family he used to have place blame on him if something happens to Patricia on the road?

He can’t chance her asking the next man to arrive about getting her home, as not everyone is safe enough for her.

 

***This opinion is my own.*** 

Preview:

The MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS BRIDES: Nine Historical Novellas Celebrate Faith and Love in the Rocky Mountains by Mildred Colvin, Mary Davis, Susan Page Davis, Lena Nelson Dooley, Darlene Franklin, Debby Lee, Tamela Hancock Murray, Carrie Turansky, and Gina Welborn is romance. With Christmas right around the corner in each story, the sleighs may bring welcomed guests and wedding bells will soon chime!

 

Review of THE HAWAIIAN QUILT by Wanda E. Brunstetter and Jean Brunstetter

Publisher: Shiloh Run Press | Published: September 1, 2016 | Formats: eBook, Paperback, and Audio (290 pages) | ASIN: B01BPYK76G, ISBN: 9781634092241, and Audio ASIN: B01KTZHW2Y  | Origin: NetGalley 

 

Cover: Courtesy of NetGalley

 

Thoughts:

Within THE HAWAIIAN QUILT by Wanda E. Brunstetter and Jean Brunstetter, we travel with four young Amish women from Indiana on a one-of-a-kind vacation to the beautiful islands of Hawaii. While these remaining days before joining the Amish church are exciting and fun, this vacation just might forever change lives!

Mandy Frey wants to visit Hawaii, and it takes long for her and three friends to save enough money to join this cruise. Barbara, Ellen, Sadie, and Mandy are experiencing the world aboard a luxury liner with food, entertainment, and fellow tourists. Except they do tend to stand out from most folks. Their plain dress and Amish bonnets are noticeable in any crowd. However, the misconceptions many believe about the Amish community come into focus on this journey, but they already expect this. Moreover, with such limited time, the brave young women decide not to let the questions or comments spoil their fun.

The many expeditions do not include enough hours in a day to do all. It has been predetermined.

To separate is the best thing they can do, although no one will ever be alone. Two by two, these Amish visitors go on junkets with cell phones to keep on time and cameras to keep each other up to speed on the different attractions. Although seasickness cramps the plan at first, the four bounce from place to place, having fun, meeting new people, and taking in as much as possible.

Meanwhile, when boy meets girl, the timing is off. A telephone becomes lost, and a ship sets sail without two passengers. What will become of the two Amish women with little money and only the clothes on their back? A Christian couple takes them in, but one feels there is more to this story. Is there? Once the usual order for organic eggs arrives at the Palms Bed and Breakfast, this story becomes even more complicated. We’ll even begin to wonder about how this story ends!

Can romance blossom despite this distance or could love wilt like a flower in the cold back home in Indiana?

 

 

***This opinion is my own.***

 

Preview:

THE HAWAIIAN QUILT by Wanda E. Brunstetter and Jean Brunstetter begins inside Indiana’s Amish community and sails to the Hawaiian Islands with four young Amish women along for one-of-a-kind vacation before they forever join their Amish church.

It has been Mandy Frey’s dream to visit Hawaii, and she and three friends leave their Amish community for a cruise. From prayers partners to travel buddies, these friends split up to see all the sites, but Mandy and another friend miss their return deadline from Kauai. Stranded without a place to go their fear grows.

When the kindness of strangers intervenes, it keeps them longer than expected out of their Amish roots. Will Mandy’s romance survive this long distance trip or will either one or both of these young women decide not to return?

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Review of THE ROOM WITH THE SECOND BEST VIEW by Virginia Smith

Publisher: Harvest House Publishers | Published: September 1, 2016 | Formats: eBook and Paperback (224 pages) | ASIN: B01HJ60YUS and ISBN: 9780736964814 | Series: Tales from the Goose Creek B&B (Book 3) | Origin: NetGalley 

 

Cover: Courtesy of Harvest House Publishers

 

Thoughts:

Within THE ROOM WITH THE SECOND BEST VIEW (Tales from the Goose Creek B&B Series), Virginia Smith drops us off at an intersection of troubles!

It starts as an act of kindness by offering something nice to someone who assists you. What bad can come from this especially when it connects to your work life or your boss? Millie wanted this house for her bed and breakfast plans, but at the time of purchase, Al was not in on this idea. However, he did agree later on and retirement is only years away now, but what Millie Richardson sees as a dry run, of sorts, her husband, Al Richardson, sees as a home intrusion. This husband and wife duo seems to be on two different timelines, although Millie’s timelines do have a habit of launching before Al gives input. Sometimes, spouses think alike, but at other times, they couldn’t be further apart in the thought process.

Issues come from many directions as town events, personal problems, work issues, home renovations, and health troubles collide, forcing plans to go astray.

The results leave all unprepared and in a scramble to keep up!

Early on, this town’s newest couple was ostracized. Friends from around the town begin to take sides. However, when accomplices gather, do they ponder when evil intentions will turn on them? Will friendships be restored?

Meanwhile, the problems inside this not-yet-opened bed and breakfast grow in size, number, and scope.

 

***This opinion is my own.***

 

Preview:

THE ROOM WITH THE SECOND BEST VIEW (Tales from the Goose Creek B&B Series) by Virginia Smith begins with secrets and planning for celebrations.

Goose Creek, Kentucky is about to reach its 150th anniversary, and by the way of this date, the celebration planning committee is in high gear, until health problems sideline its financing hopes. However, the newest and least liked and most ostracized townsfolk step in to lend a hand and turn friends into foes as they get the job done.

However, money, notoriety, power, and friendship clash in the harshest of measures. Long-standing residents take sides and friendship pays the price. Could power struggles leave this town’s gala in a shambles?

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Review of LIKE A BEE TO HONEY by Jennifer Beckstrand

Publisher: Zebra | Published: August 30, 2016 | Formats: eBook, Mass Market, and Audio Book (352 pages) | ASIN: B0190HGU5C, and ISBN: 9781420140248, and (Audio) ASIN: B01KN2YPAU | Series: The Honeybee Sisters | Origin: NetGalley

 

Cover: Courtesy of Zebra

 

Thoughts:

In LIKE A BEE TO HONEY, Jennifer Beckstrand leads us into the happiness that is unfolding for two of the three Christner sisters, known as The Honeybee Sisters. Their little sister, Rose, is not only scared of being alone, her fear intensifies once their livelihood is threatened and their home becomes a target!

Rose Christner has been orphaned, scarred, shy, afraid, and ashamed for most of her life, since her parents died, but soon afterward, more trouble followed her. Rose became a victim of a fiery storm which overtook their community, and it became safer for them to move on than to stay. Now, living in a Wisconsin Amish community, most of this family has grown and thrived, but Rose still carries much of the past within her. She often takes refuge from people inside the Honeybee Farm chores and becomes a friend to the cats when many would shy away from them.

This family thought her past had been dead and buried, but it comes back to life and takes to threatening Rose. Now, happiness takes a back seat to survival for all.

Meanwhile, Josiah Yoder was already a young man when he lost his parents, but this hefty loss had him grow up faster to become a man earlier than most.

His farm is doing well and for the most part, he’s doing great too. Well, that is if you don’t count the fact the woman he has fallen in love with wants nothing to do with him. Josiah tries not to take it too personally though since she does not want much to do with anyone, but he often wonders if she even knows how much she helped him with his grief. Yes, she was young when she lost her family, but she was there for him when he lost his. She knew his pain, and he did not have act strong.

He is willing to wait for her to be comfortable in courting him, but the more he waits, the more she becomes distant. However, once he realizes that Rose has become someone’s target in the harassment which has engulfed the Honeybee Farm, he’s ready to step up for her, her family, and her farm, but first, he must survive those cats!

Cats are actually trying to run him off their farm, but they have not stopped the intruders?

***This opinion is my own.***

 

Preview:

Jennifer Beckstrand brings to life Rose Christner in LIKE A BEE TO HONEY.

Rose is the youngest, most afraid, and one that will have most walk on eggshells around her of the Honeybee Sisters. She’s skittish to a fault, not strong enough to wilt, and is frequently under-the-weather, but she wants to change. However, she is not going to give anyone her heart. That will only lead to pain, confusion, and fear. She likes the bees on her farm and the honey from the bees, but she stays with the cats and keeps people far away from her.

Is she happy? No. However, she hasn’t been happy since the age of five so this is another day to Rose Christner. She knows what it’s like to be in the middle of something that should never be, and she knows a guilty heart for most of her life. With people comes pain and with pain comes guilt, but she’s had enough of that.

Meanwhile, Josiah Yoder is waiting on Rose. He fell for her a while back, and he has never lost his love for her no matter how afraid she seems to people or how much she pushes them away. As dangerous things start to happen over on the Honeybee Farm, Josiah is not waiting to keep her safe.

If protecting her against her will is risking their future, that is just fine, but he’s not risking her life for anything!

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Review of WHO AM I?: Dynamic Declarations of Who You Are in Christ by Mike Shreve

Publisher: Charisma House| Published: July 5, 2016 | Format: eBook and Paperback (256 pages) | ASIN: B017QL5IKC and ISBN: 9781629986692 | Origin: NetGalley

 

Cover: Courtesy of Charisma House

Thoughts:

WHO AM I?: Dynamic Declarations of Who You Are in Christ by Mike Shreve is an uplifting, Inspirational read based on the Bible to engage our faith, grow us Spiritually with purpose, and bring us closer to Him.

By remembering our God-given names—through explanations, affirmations, bold prayers, and Scripture references,—we bring into focus that we are His in Christ! To this end, we learn/relearn to see ourselves as we are known to Him, and it will be seen in both inside and outside of us, Whose we are and to Whom we belong.

It is easy to be inundated with problems, images, and scenes, in today’s situations and circumstances, but these are not able to keep hold of us. As we embrace our given names, it will keep us in faith to declare we are His.

 

 

***This opinion is my own.***

 

Preview:

Mike Shreve’s WHO AM I?: Dynamic Declarations of Who You Are in Christ gives bold understanding to the God-given names for us represented through Scripture.

Using Bible references, prayer, affirmations, and understanding, the people of God can navigate today emboldened with faith, facts, and wisdom of being His through Christ with purpose and be confident in this world before we travel to the next.

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Review of UNFORGETTABLE, MY LOVE HAS COME ALONG by Ann Marie Bryan

Publisher: Victorious By Design, LLC | eBook Published: August 23, 2012 and Paperback Published: July 31, 2012 | Format: eBook (267 pages) and Paperback (266 pages) | ASIN: B0091NR6XQ and ISBN: 9780985146801 | Origin: Purchased 

 

Cover: Courtesy of Amazon

 

Thoughts:

Ann Marie Bryan’s UNFORGETTABLE, MY LOVE HAS COME ALONG is a chatty romantic, women’s fiction tale based on true events, and with lots of humor, it brings into focus faith, love, family, Jamaican culture, long-distance relationships, and marriage.

I had to chuckle while relating to Annalisa Jones for many reasons, but especially since, at one time, anyone would have thought I was born with a phone to my ear chatting away the hours of life. However, this kind of talent develops over time as Annalisa displays.

For Annalisa, when you live in America and the rest of your family still lives in Jamaica, the telephone becomes a lifeline. Annalisa does have friends and a church family in America, but she grew up in Jamaica and a large part of her heart is still there too. However, she’s rebuffed her family’s matchmaking efforts back home because her life is now in the USA. What good would it do to get involved with a beau from her former homeland?

Family comes to visit Annalisa and brings with them a matchmaking plot launching two against one in the world of love. Once she caves in, she’ll worry that she will soon regret this or that it would cause her pain. However, she chooses not letting this “set up” get far at all.

She will deal with an email or two to keep the peace, but she is set against a long-distance love life. She’s especially thankful when the email never arrives.

Meanwhile, Orane Conway is one man that’s easy to fall in love with, and from knowing Annalisa’s family, this man wants to know a woman who has captured his attention, just by her way a family adores her. Orane is not just looking to meet his next date. He is ready to find commitment, and in today’s world, not everyone is on the same page as he.

But when a simple phone call brings this godly woman to life, he’s mesmerized even more. The problem is that the more they talk the more he’s captured, and the more he wants to things to develop. She’s not afraid to let her feelings out about everything from politics to faith, but he’s wondering if she’d even consider a commitment as she keeps her emotions guarded.

Can faith, family, love, and commitment transcend the boundaries of two countries? Alternatively, will this long-distance attempt leave two people in pain?

 

 

***This opinion is my own.***

 

Preview:

UNFORGETTABLE, MY LOVE HAS COME ALONG by Ann Marie Bryan’s depicts Annalisa Jones love life as it’s taking a sharp turn right where she didn’t want it to go inside romance!

Annalisa’s wants marriage, but she doesn’t want it enough to marry Mr. Wrong, and she’s praying for a local Mr. Right. Meanwhile, she enjoys her single life living in the USA, but converses all the time with her homeland family and friends in Jamaica. She is firmly set against any homeland dating prospects that her family keeps striving to pitch. After all, what good can come from such a long-distance relationship?

Annalisa’s life is here, and she plans to keep her life planted here with her church family and other friends. In addition, single life is keeping her active and satisfied as best as possible.

As a surprising telephone call arrives, it threatens changes in everything she believed to be true, but could another disaster loom ahead?

Review of THE ARMAGEDDON CODE: One Journalist’s Quest for End-Times Answers by Billy Hallowell

Publisher: Frontline | Published: May 3, 2016 | Formats: eBook, Paperback (224 pages), and Audio | ASIN: B018DWEHOG, ISBN: 978-1629989211, and ISBN (Audio): 978-1633899179 | Origin: NetGalley

 

Cover: Courtesy of Frontline

Thoughts:

THE ARMAGEDDON CODE: One Journalist’s Quest for End-Times Answers by Billy Hallowell is in a style that forms by this author’s true journalistic background. In today’s world loaded with cynicism, it is refreshing to see the interviewer stay out of the fracas but be inside the story and not glued to any one approach. I found this read a fascinating educational tool to uncover how believers agree on much and still see things differently.

As the faith editor for theblaze.com, Billy Hallowell’s experience comes through as he investigates a truth which even he understands may not be uncovered all the while defining the differences in theology that stay among Christians worldwide.

Billy Hallowell does not agree nor disagree with these varied responses, but instead, he allows light to shine on how these differences may change interpretation. Whether through a Conservative eye, a Preterist view, or a Premillennialist take on things, many other theological contours lie between the End of Days straight back through The Old Testament.

In many ways, differences abound throughout church history, but the paradigms agree in many areas.

 

 

***This opinion is my own.***

 

Preview:

Using his journalist approach, Billy Hallowell tackles THE ARMAGEDDON CODE: One Journalist’s Quest for End-Times Answers by gathering through interviews all sides of the most debated topics inside Christianity.

Spanning from Old Testament through Revelations, Biblical Scholars may interpret and understand Scriptures differently but leave just as many aspects to remain identical to Christians across the globe.

This author stands back to let thoughts be known and questions remain unanswered all the while he leads many on the same quest of the last days.

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Review of LOVE’S BETRAYAL by DiAnn Mills and FAITHFUL TRAITOR by Jill Stengl

Publisher: Barbour Books | Published: August 1, 2016 Formats: eBook and Paperback (320 pages) | ASIN: B01IUO5VC4 and ISBN: 9781634097796 | Origin: NetGalley 

 

Cover: Courtesy of Barbour Books

 

Thoughts:

LOVE’S BETRAYAL by DiAnn Mills transports readers back to 1776 during the patriot battles in our fight for freedom!

This time in our fate encompasses much more than fighters on the field, and the hands behind the scenes leave the readers wondering about our own ancestors. What may they have done to aid the fight when a seemingly everyday young woman of the time is helping?

Delight Butler is walking in Boston with her sister as the Redcoats saunter down their streets as if seeming to have won that right. She’s shifting a bucket in hand trying to keep out of the fray but is on her way to a mission. Not even her family is aware that Delight is as much of this war as their countrymen in the field. Nor do they know the lengths that she will go on her quest for freedom that has the hallmarks of danger and harm coming right to her door.

With the problems the “Redcoats” have created, Delight’s father knows the time has come to move his family from their beloved Boston onto where his brother lives. Strength in numbers helps and friendly hands near them will keep his brood of daughters safe, but the calling that is in his heart is the driving force in the decision. It’s not the matter of if this man will join the fight, but it is most assuredly the matter of when the man will depart. With his wife again expecting, the last thing he has a need for arrives at his door.

While Delight’s father tries to keep himself at home, the Redcoats bring the fight to them. This family forcefully is to care for an injured man under dangerous penalties, and Delight of all of them has the hardest job of all. As her mother’s labor arrives, Delight must keep the hated man alive or risk her family’s future!

Meanwhile, the king’s fighter, named Henry O’Neil is now languishing in a home where he is the enemy and is still heartbroken over the loss of his friend in arms. This man could worry that they would kill him or at least, make him wish they had. Despite his worries, their homage, and his history, Henry O’Neil is smart enough to realize these people are brothers and sisters in faith. However, he has seen enough death around the battlefield to know that brothers will turn against brothers, and he is surely an unwanted man around the rebels.

The woman caring for him despises him, but his days under the same roof have gained her his respect. Enemies they are, but she is beautiful both inside and out. However, this woman would sooner carry her ways to war than allow herself to become aware of the turmoil inside him. His king is her enemy and her beloved is a land of the free that might not ever happen. How will this family and this soldier separate again, as friends or enemies or none and all?

Before these days, FAITHFUL TRAITOR by Jill Stengl gives us the English side of a possible war as a lead up to the major battles.

A king’s man tries to stay the tide from turning toward a war to keep many Loyalists inside New York. Governors come and go while rebels wear cloaks among them. And somehow, things are moving too quick to determine when to stay or when to leave, as the streets of New York by the night have both Rebels and Loyalists lobbying for information to bring to their respective comrades.

However, there a few that can obtain such information while others try to make it appear as if they do.

When an arranged marriage could bring on war closer to home, Georgette Talbot’s doubts multiply, but a cloaked man comes on the scene to make her wonder much differently than intended.

He seems to know much about her life, but she knows nothing about him save for his beautiful French speech.

Then Georgette’s parents suddenly make her fall into a rushed marriage ceremony with a man whose reputation precedes him ten-fold as they are desperate to get back to England fearing the war is on.

Meanwhile, Mr. LaTournay has been interested in Georgette but has longed to wash himself of his past reputation for that colors the talks about town. When he finally does meet the fair lady, his name to her is synonymous with mud on the streets. However, her financially failing father wants her to marry him, and he does want that himself.

He does not wish to have a forced wife. Now, it is up to him to make her want a husband with his past, his present, and his future in spite of the war that is beginning to heat in their city. He wonders though will the real Mr. LaTournay become more suitable for her or will his secrets keep them apart?

These two amazing stories will bring history back to life by mixing romance with dashes of mystery to create a perfect backdrop for these current days!

 

***This opinion is my own.***

 

Preview:

Boston, in the year 1776, LOVE’S BETRAYAL by DiAnn Mills brings Delight Butler undercover with the Patriots toting messages to and from the citizenry right under the footsteps of their foreign invaders, London’s Redcoats!

After the family moves from Boston, the king’s men force a medical needy soldier into the Butler family to regain his health under threats of what may come if he does not survive. With a brood of girls, Mr. Butler must stay to keep his wife, soon-to-be in labor, and his family safe instead of taking up the fight for what he believes.

He’s a patriot through and through and so is his family.

As a child is born, it is up to Delight Butler to care for an enemy and keep her animosity in check because the lives of her family are on the ledge. However, seeing strength, vulnerability, and faith of this king’s soldier is not making this job much easier. In fact, she’s having trouble keeping out of verbal skirmishes with such a hardheaded but softhearted redcoat!

Also, the bonus historical romance, FAITHFUL TRAITOR by Jill Stengl has more than war inside its pages before the battle lands inside New York, leaving one to ponder. How loyal are all the king’s men?

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Review of THE BUTTERFLY BRIDE by Lacy Williams

Publisher: Serenade Books | Published: June 2, 2016 | Format: eBook | ASIN: B01GKH48RM | Series: Lone Star Brides (Book 3) | Origin: Publisher 

 

Cover: Courtesy of Serenade Books

 

Thoughts:

THE BUTTERFLY BRIDE by author Lacy Williams anchors us into a disunited family inside the center of the story just when some brothers and family move into future happiness another stays in fighting mode to deflect the past!

A brother returns to Pecan, Texas under happy circumstances for the rest of the family, but he’s been running from his own tale for so long that he’s still muddied with guilt that heaps on daily.

Luke is keeping a wall of distance between him the rest of the family and imagines getting back on the road since long before he even had arrived in Pecan. Luke Starr can keep up with the bullfighting circuit better than he can dodge Gramma’s attempts to reach out to him. He knows from firsthand experience that physical wounds will heal eventually, but trauma and remorse will leave forever-open lesions that will never mend.

Meanwhile, Jess Sadler is a recent hire in Pecan, Texas as a Special Education teacher and her heart is an open book. Growing up with her sister, Jess has come to appreciate people of all makes and models. Her sister’s history sparked the desire for her profession, and she sees her charges as more than her job. Intending to reach all of her students, she’s engaging in some field trips, but the one child whom she hasn’t been able to reach seems to come to life right in front of her eyes on this last trip. This unexpected spark is making Jess reach for the brass ring on a ranch.

However, first, she needs to do something she has not done before. How could she reach a man who seems to be unreachable for her student’s sake?

As soon as Jess decides to use the direct approach, she realizes the coldness of Luke Starr is hiding a man with a good heart. Not only does he agree, he begins to teach her student how to care for the horses and about their daily routines bringing a glow from both her and her student.

This amazing man transforms a stranger into a wonderful teacher, her student into someone she knew he could be, and a teacher into a woman falling in love, but in a moment, all is lost once her student disappears!

***This opinion is my own.***
 

Preview:

Author Lacy Williams brings the prodigal son home in THE BUTTERFLY BRIDE!

However, Luke Starr has not ever been able to rid himself of the nightmare that happened in high school, since he still lives it today. His bullfighting career keeps him far from Pecan, Texas, but his twin brothers both decided to wed at the same time to cause Luke’s return as grief is bubbling over again inside his heart.

Jess Sadler is settling nicely into Pecan, Texas as a special education teacher, and she is seeing a gradual transformation in her new students. She knew it would take some time to reach them, and her many learning field trips helped too. However, one student seems to be getting farther away despite her efforts, until now.

With such a wonderful sister, Jess’s career came naturally, and to her, this is more than a job. It’s all about reaching her students, teaching her students, and helping her students. Moreover, the one who had grown far away from her left from a field trip with the light in his eyes that she had only dreamed of seeing.

Now, how was she going to speak to a man she had not met before today about opening his ranch, his horses, and his time to a teacher and a boy he didn’t even know?

After the request is made, the challenge is accepted. The wish is granted until the child goes missing then all hope is lost!

 

Cover: Courtesy of Abingdon Press

Review of CLOSE TO HOME: A Chicory Inn Novel – Book 4 by Deborah Raney

Publisher: Abingdon Press | Published: June 7, 2016 | Formats: eBook, Paperback, and Hardcover (304 pages) | ASIN: B0198VL2AS, ISBN: 9781426770463 and 9781501817458 | Series: A Chicory Inn Novel | Origin: NetGalley

Cover: Courtesy of Abingdon Press

 

Thoughts:

Inside CLOSE TO HOME, Deborah Raney pulls us in many different directions and right into the storms of life!

From Bree Cordel Whitman’s angst-ridden, widowed life—years after her husband Timothy Whitman died in Afghanistan, we move to eighty-five-year-old CeeCee’s declining health, and then we slide into life with Drew Brooks as his livelihood unravels. Drew’s financial woe is coming at a time when he was getting serious about getting serious in life and beginning to want love, family, and stable connections.

We start with Bree, as she has managed to connect the past to the present through the entire Whitman family. Bree is again feeling a loss. This time, the loss is as much for her own life as it for her husband. She’s been sidelined but watches these people that she loves like family grow in number and move with grace through their own stories, but Bree’s life remains stuck in neutral. Does getting a new life mean she has to give up her past and her connection to these wonderful people?

On the other hand, does family mean staying together no matter what? Rather than face these questions head-on, Bree decides to walk along the edges of a dating life. What she uncovers is that although a breeze will come and go, it’s the windstorms that can get her lost inside this experiment, leaving her breathless and scared.

She’s been fond of a man at work, and Aaron has not been shy about letting her know that he is wanting more than a working relationship with her. Even while he agrees to keep this relationship quiet, at first, he seems overwhelmingly needy in keeping Bree all to himself. His questions, requests, and demands about her Whitman family relationships lead to the ones that she’s been trying to keep sheltered being exposed to a rocky situation when she tries to tiptoe around their relationship definition.

Meanwhile, Drew Brooks has known the Whitman family for years through his brother Dallas Brooks. Dallas is married to Danae Whitman and is growing in love and family members beside Drew, allowing Drew to do some questioning about his own life.

While Grant and Audrey are keeping up with the Inn and trying to make time for the grandchildren, Grant’s mother CeeCee develops some health issues that have this family nervous enough to make some plans. However, getting CeeCee on board will not be easy!

Family relationships, life, and love doesn’t always move on as planned, but are these family members strong enough to weather these successive major storms or will their foundation crack and crumble to leave stability only in their past?

 

***This opinion is my own.***

 

Preview:

CLOSE TO HOME by Deborah Raney brings light upon a widowed, military wife in a time of grief and trouble. Bree Cordel Whitman hasn’t dated although no one had ever asked her not to, and she’s enjoys the life she has after her husband’s death in Afghanistan.

His family has kept her going at times.

However, she is wishing for the happiness that happens all around her, but she’s afraid she would have to give up a family to move on with her life. Bree does not want to lose them, but she wonders if growing more in love with the Whitman family is keeping her stuck inside the past?

Drew Brooks temporarily works for Whitman family and is back into wondering about Bree. However, he wasn’t ready for her to show up to a family dinner with a man. He thought that he would know when she was ready to date again, after losing her husband. However, he’s at a clear disadvantage to the man with her. This guy has a steady job while Drew is recently unemployed.

Can he await work to find him before asking her out or does he not even stand a chance with a career man standing beside her?

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Review of THE THINGS WE KNEW by Catherine West

Publisher: Thomas Nelson | Published: July 12, 2016 | Format: eBook and Paperback (352 pages) | ASIN: B01864DXE6 and ISBN: 9780718078102 | Origin: Author 

 

Cover: Courtesy of Thomas Nelson

 

Thoughts:

THE THINGS WE KNEW by Catherine West launches us into rough waters as we sail through the chaotic life of Lynette Carlisle, daughter of renowned painter Drake Carlisle.

Now, as Lynette tackles work while being the only caregiver to her father during his quick descent into Alzheimer’s disease, his physical and financial needs quickens her pace to unpack her family’s dysfunction while keeping her nightmares at bay!

The large Carlisle family had grown up within grand style inside the luxury life that does exist on the island, as her father’s works had become well known and even appreciated in her lifetime. Her childhood memories are like painted pictures of yachting, private beaches, country clubs, and parties. Alternatively, those same things could be to varying degrees the reasons her family has come unglued.

Most brothers won’t return her calls, a sister barely has time to speak with her, and no one comes to visit their father.

Meanwhile, Lynette’s losing hope, could lose her home, and is trying to survive while her father is wandering off without knowing it. Between the lack of sleep, extra duties, extra hours, and trying to uncover the root behind the horrid nightmare she has been living with in silence, she’s beginning a mental move into a darker space. Her past, a faceless figure, and her deceased mother’s words gnaw at her about something, but the question always ends in the same confusing way. Is something or someone out here that makes her siblings stay out of reach? What or who?

Meanwhile, her father’s drifting has brought a long ago friend back into their life in the middle of the night.

Nicholas Cooper had not seen Lynette in some years, and he certainly wasn’t expecting her to cross his path in this manner. By the time he could comprehend this situation she found herself in, his former attraction to her not only sprang to life but also grew through instant respect. This woman had loved her family enough to put her own life and dreams on hold. He, on the other hand, put his dreams on hold for a totally different family reason.

In the space of a minute, he knew what happened this night connects him to his neighbor on a more tragic course than either spoke of or could connect to each other. Nick doesn’t want it to connect to her out of protection, fear while Lynette wouldn’t even know how their shared history intersects through guilt, and shame so long ago.

As a young man, he couldn’t change anything, but he can help now.

The churning of fame, fortune, and family will carry the Drakes and the Coopers into a riptide driven by their illnesses, pain, anger, and flaws. As family drama crashes into friendship and romance, leading with mystery and suspense, it sends tingles down your spine. You will begin to doubt whether hope is actually alive or on life support and could healing ever be possible.

This author’s masterful use of the combination of setting, tragedy, mystery, and loss along with secrets and grief becomes a women’s fiction tale that you do not want to end, allowing me to recommend this well-crafted read!

***This opinion is my own.***
 

Preview:

Author Catherine West brings together a tragic past and a messy present inside THE THINGS WE KNEW!

Lynette Carlisle sees her past slipping through her fingers at an alarming rate leaving her sad, confused, and woefully overloaded with responsibility. It was over a decade ago that her mother’s death disintegrated any family ties leaving bare threads behind. Most siblings keep far away from their Nantucket roots leaving Lynette alone with her dad, burdened, and confused. Since the age of twelve, she does not remember much about that day, but the faceless fear that plagues her sleep. However, she had tried to dismiss this part of grief away, but there does seem to be something connected to it that has kept her out of reach to her family. What?

Now, she’s in a crisis, and her faith is shaky. Nevertheless, she is learning how not to be so mousy around others. Her father is depending on her to do what needs doing.

What he thought previously was unthinkable had happened. Nicholas Cooper returned home to Nantucket, and though he knew it would be inevitable to face at least one of the Carlisle family members, he was not quite ready to come face to face with Lynette. While growing up she was just a kid sister of a friend, until one day she wasn’t anymore.

After a brief time, he had believed that goodbye would be permanent as he went off to college. Soon, she would leave the island too, and the ocean of reasons why a relationship with her could never happen always held a rough current underneath.

However, this beautiful woman in the early morning hours appeared. Looking ragged and worn, she took away a buffer zone that he believed existed between them. She’s never left the island and her father’s illness seems caught up in the riptide that endangers two families. These two neighbors growing up sharing in so much and in too much all at the same time.

He had to do something about it now, but so much could get in the way.

As lessons are learned, pain burns anew, and healing or forgiveness can seem so out of touch, many question whether a broken family can ever be mended!

 

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Review of DEEP SHADOWS (Remnant Book 1) by Vannetta Chapman

Publisher: Harvest House Publishers | Published: ebook June 28, 2016 and paperback July 1, 2016 | Formats: eBook (370 pages) and Paperback (368 pages) | ASIN: B01EBNW67G and ISBN: 9780736966535 | Series: Remnant | Origin: NetGalley

 

Cover: Courtesy of Harvest House Publishers

 

Thoughts:

In DEEP SHADOWS (The Remnant Book 1) by Vannetta Chapman, we are thrown into a futuristic, grim tale that will make us wonder about our dependence on technology! One day, could something like this be our catastrophic fate?

Imagine that you are inside a contemporary, Texas town where today’s phones and entertainment choices plus everything from medical records to medications and the shipping and receiving of groceries supplies suddenly go black. With the creature comforts of electricity, plumbing, and public transportation having ended while electronic components make every new automobile useless. The older car models need gas that fried circuits cannot pump.

Welcome to a modern country thrown backward in time, when air-conditioning was a dream of not that long ago with summer temperatures upon us. These plights aren’t a brownout, blackout, or an inconvenience. This is a permanent condition.

Due to a solar flare, water can run dry, medicine cannot be found, and food supplies quickly dwindle as the senior generations have been here before, but the younger generations are far out of their element. Hostility quickly becomes a way of life. It is almost a modern wild-west story that encompasses the whole country and many others when the a third world is no longer a much-wondered about existence.

It’s here. It’s today. It is in the USA where basic survival is in question!

***This opinion is my own.***

 

Preview:

Vannetta Chapman’s DEEP SHADOWS (The Remnant Book 1) combines the present with the future inside a Texas town.

When living in this small town, as a single mom, novelist Shelby Sparks feels at home. Yes, everyone knows everyone’s business, but these people are almost an extended family too. Even the man who broke her heart, many years ago, is now considered one of her best friends proving time heals most wounds and moves on for all. Her son, Carter, will soon graduate high school and head off to college.

Life in Abney, Texas is as it’s always been and getting better even still, until everything changes.

An unusual dance along the evening sky would be beautiful if it wasn’t a deadly encounter for everyone below.

Max Berkman is a lawyer inside his hometown, where he relocated years before to re-find the peace he’d been missing. His law firm cases are not all that complicated, but they do show some of the lesser aspects of the human condition at times, never letting him forget why he moved back to Abney, Texas.

While hiking with his friends and the special woman that he lost a long time ago, something magical happens. To see the aurora borealis from a mountain range is both humbling and awe-inspiring, but the Shelby Sparks reaction is far from a faith encounter. The fear radiating from her puts him into a protective mode that only grows once the explosions start. With a friend whose military training has never left him, they dare to make it home.

More explosions bring a war-torn feel to their excursion as the deep shadows of trouble are getting wider by the minute. Just as these friends are beginning to realize their would might be forever changed, some desperate people take up desperate measures.

Do they all have the faith and the will to survive? Alternatively, will faith and survival collide bringing them closer to death?

 

Cover: Courtesy of Harvest House Publishers

Review of ABC’s OF CHRISTIANITY: An Outline for Living in the “Now” and Relating to God by Terdema Ussery

Publisher: FaithWords | Published: June 28, 2016 | Formats: eBook and Hardcover (164 pages) | ASIN: B013CATP7I and ISBN: 9781455537808 | Origin: NetGalley

 

http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/terdema-ussery/abcs-of-christianity/9781455537792/

Cover: Courtesy of FaithWords

 

Thoughts:

ABC’s OF CHRISTIANITY: An Outline for Living in the “Now” and Relating to God by Terdema Ussery is a beautifully plain teaching tool. It serves not only the new believer in singles or in groups but also serves a current believer wanting/needing to look back with fresh eyes on the most fundamental principles of Christianity and enthusiastically knowing God.

As a new believer, we are steeped into the most basic belief of Jesus, His Word, and His life, but as a child grows so does our understanding of faith in Jesus. However, within different denominations come different systems and different ways, but the basics are always the same. It’s easy to see that throughout all of Christianity, these roots are solid.

With Scripture and simple explanations, those new beginnings can be revisited, and a new mind will be enriched.

This was a refreshing reminder of the days of learning Christianity. However, don’t be surprised if even the most versed in this faith come away with a new perspective or an ever increased desire to spread His Word by using this resource. Maybe you’ll find a whole new beginning from within your current faith age and marvel the way I did over how simple the belief in Him is, can be, and will always be, and how we can earnestly know Him.

 

 

***This opinion is my own.***

 

Preview:

Terdema Ussery provides the most simple blueprint of belief inside the ABC’s OF CHRISTIANITY: An Outline for Living in the “Now” and Relating to God.

This author brings faith in Jesus to life with ease and gives the doctrines without stories or specified Bible versions appointed. Through Scripture references found in any Biblical app, site, or paper Bible, anyone can learn or relearn the basics and actively know God.

 

 

 

Author Interview/Showcase: Beth Wiseman author of MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE

 

Author Bio:

Beth Wiseman is best known for her Daughters of the Promise series and the Land of Canaan Amish series. Having sold over 1.5 million books, her novels have held spots on multiple bestseller lists, and she has been the recipient of many prestigious literary awards. Beth is contracted with HarperCollins Christian Publishing into the year 2019, and she has published fourteen novels and sixteen novellas to date.

Beth has a deep affection for the Amish and their simpler way of life, and while she plans to continue writing Amish love stories, she is also branching out into other areas including Christian contemporary romance novels and novellas. Need You Now, The House that Love Built, The Promise and A Tide Worth Turning are some of these recent releases.

Beth and her husband are empty nesters enjoying the country life in Texas with three dogs and a rooster. When she’s not writing, Beth loves to travel, paint, and enjoy time with friends and family. You can find Beth and her books at her website BethWiseman.com, Fans of Beth Wiseman on Facebook where she interacts with readers, and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bethwiseman.

 

Interview/showcase:

Paula: What prompted you to write A Surf’s Up Novella series?

Beth: I think that most authors feel a need to venture into other areas after writing in a genre for a long time. I love writing about the Amish folks, but I’ve also welcomed the opportunity to step out of the genre to try some new things. Need You Now, The House that Love Built, and The Promise were all non-Amish books that are based in Texas, and I’m blessed that my readers followed me into unknown waters. The Surf’s Up novellas are extensions of my desire to offer readers a variety of books. And these beach stories are fun to write! 

Paula: Please tell us about your newly released Novella. 

Beth: In Message In A Bottle, Kyle loses the love of his life when girlfriend, Morgan, is whisked away by the CIA in the middle of the night. Almost six years later, two men show up at Kyle’s door with news that he has a daughter who is ill. Her only chance of survival lies with Kyle, if he’ll fly to an undisclosed island location in the Pacific. But reuniting with his first love and saving his daughter places his engagement to his fiancée, Lexie, at risk. In a seemingly no win situation, God has a way of working things out for the good of all, even if the players can’t foresee His plan.  

Paula: Did you come up with the characters or the story first?

Beth: My stories percolate in my mind for a long time, and then the characters begin to show up. One by one, they introduce themselves and explain the roles they will be playing in the book. By the time I start typing, I usually know my characters fairly well. But all the fun is in the surprises they have in store for me—and the readers. And there are always visitors along that way demanding a role in the story too.

Paula: Would you give some insights into your main characters and why those characters are central to this story?

Beth: In most of my stories, I have a female protagonist, but in Message In A Bottle, Kyle is my main character. He is the one who must choose between his first love and his daughter, or his current fiancé. Morgan was his first love, and prior to her disappearance, she and Kyle let temptation guide them into an intimacy that would produce a child—Emma. Although Kyle never knew he had a daughter. Morgan has closed off her heart to love after being devastated by losing Kyle, due to the nature of her father’s job in the CIA. Lexie, Kyle’s current fiancé, is keeping a secret from Kyle, but they are in love, and she plans to tell him the truth, even if it means losing him. Morgan and Lexie are both good people, so Kyle wonders how he can bridge the troubled waters of his past and present ?

Paula: Do you enjoy writing the contemporary tales as much as the Amish works?

Beth: Yes, I do. I’m blessed to be able to alternate between Amish and non-Amish stories, and I think this helps me keep my ideas fresh. After I leave Amish Country, I’m read to hit the beach in the Surf’s Up novellas, and vice versa after I complete one of my beach stories.

Paula: Where can readers find you online?

Beth: My website is almost always up-to-date, and there you can read the first chapter of all of my books—a true ‘try before you buy’ system. And you can also sign up for my newsletter (which I only send once a month) at my website. I spend lots of time at Fans of Beth Wiseman on Facebook, and I’m on Twitter.

Paula: Can you tell us two fun summer activities you enjoy when you are not writing?

Beth: Reading a book at the beach is my number one, so it’s not really a surprise that I’m writing beach novellas for the Surf’s Up series. My husband and I also enjoy riding our Mule (not the four-legged kind) around on the back roads in Texas where we live. There are all kinds of wildlife to see—Longhorns, jackrabbits, foxes, bobcats, bunnies, owls, and more. But what also makes the journey so fun is the Mexican restaurant that we can get to by taking the back roads. Our guests usually request this trip when they visit. Although by July and August, our Texas temperatures can make that a hot journey.

Paula: Where do you find the recipes that appear in your Novellas?

Beth: The recipes in my Amish books have been provided to me courtesy of my Amish friends. For A Tide Worth Turning (another Surf’s Up novella), I had to research online for authentic Australian recipes. However, Message In A Bottle is longer than my other novellas, so there are not any recipes in this novella. I felt like more words were needed to provide the happily-ever-after ending that I think readers have come to expect from my stories. Each Surf’s Up novella takes the reader to a beach locale. I’d hate to let a spoiler slip, but here is a hint as to where my characters go in Message In A Bottle . . . Aloha! 🙂 

Paula: What are your favorites in both foods and desserts?

Beth: On my headstone, it will probably read The Cheese Got Her In the End . . . LOL. I think everything should have cheese on it, and I love all different kinds. I’m also crazy about Mexican food and Italian food (lots of cheese!). And no surprise, I love cheesecake for dessert. But I’m also all about anything chocolate!

Paula: What is on the horizon for you now?

Beth: I am working on book #3 in the Amish Secrets series. This book isn’t titled yet but it follows behind Her Brother’s Keeper and Love Bears All Things, the latter releasing this October. I’ll also be starting a novella that will be included in a collection with Ruth Reid, Kelly Irvin, and Amy Clipston—An Amish Christmas Love—soon. And I’ll be writing more of the Surf’s Up novellas. I’m blessed to be busy! Thank you so much for having me here at your blog. 

Paula: I enjoyed your visit, and I can’t wait to read Message in a Bottle

 

Available at: Amazon

 

 

BLURB:

One man. Two women. A child desperate for medical treatment. How can Kyle choose between the woman he once loved and his current fiancée? Is there a solution that suits all involved, or will someone end up out of the triangle forever?

Morgan Calhoun and her parents are whisked away in the middle of the night, something Morgan always knew was a possibility because of her father’s CIA job. But she’d always thought if such a scenario played out that she would have time to say goodbye to those she loved—particularly her boyfriend, Kyle. Adding to her unbearable situation, several weeks after the move, Morgan finds out that she’s pregnant.

Kyle Brossmann doesn’t even get a break-up letter from Morgan. She’s just gone, along with her parents. His heart broken, Kyle continues with his plans. He graduates from high school and attends college, where he meets his fiancée, Lexie. But two men visit Kyle and encourage him to travel to an undisclosed location, where he will meet his five-year-old daughter. Rocked by the news that he has a child, Kyle learns he is the only person who might be able to save his daughter’s life.

Will Kyle choose his first love and his daughter? Or will he stay with Lexie and live the life they’ve been planning?

Each Surf’s Up novella takes the reader to a beach locale, weaving romance and adventure into a soul-soothing journey of hope.

 

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Review of THE HEART ANSWERS by Colleen Coble

Publisher: Thomas Nelson | Published: June 14, 2016 | Format: Paperback – Reprint Edition (224 pages) | ISBN: 9780529103444 | Series: Wyoming Series | Origin: NetGalley

Cover: Courtesy of Thomas Nelson

Thoughts:

In a reprint edition of THE HEART ANSWERS by Colleen Coble, we slide back into the past and travel with an unhappy family, but while mother and daughter still grieve the loss of husband and father, they are destitute. It’s when this mother decides to keep the family together through a marriage of convenience that we get to really uncover Jessica DuBois.

To live a life of wealth only to end up poor is more than Jessica is able to handle. She’d already gone from an orphanage to a family and isn’t ready for what her mother has planned.

Meanwhile, Reverend Clay Cole meets up with trouble and ends up saving the lives of travelers going his way, but the beautiful woman known as Jessica is someone who Clay feels needs to find humility and discipline while losing her harsh tone. It’s 1867 and in Wyoming you won’t find an easy life. The land is rough, and the work is hard. This woman needs to take off her gloves and earn her keep.

Her lack of faith is as clear as the manipulative games she plays. His lessons for her will be just as transparent.

Once things are not going according to her will, Jessica’s finding out that beauty isn’t everything while Reverend Clay Cole is holding onto some bitter memories of his own. Clay brings people to faith and believes he has His ways in mind, but somewhere, he may have lost His ways inside his own heart.

Can these two put their differences aside for a child in need? Will placing trust in her cause anyone harm?

***This opinion is my own.***
 

Preview:

THE HEART ANSWERS by Colleen Coble, begins inside a fort during the year 1867 and soon after a beloved husband and father dies.

While her uncle is willing to marry her mother, Jessica DuBois is far from ready to become part of a family she will never like or could ever endure. What Jessica needs is a man to keep her inside the life she’s grown accustomed to and will get her back to Boston and civilized society. Her choices are limited, but when a handsome stranger comes to help ladies in distress, she sets her target. 

However, Reverend Clay Cole believes he already knows Jessica DuBois, but as more tragedy strikes, he’s doubting a family’s relationship with this woman could have gotten them any worse.

But is he wrong?

 

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Review of THE CARE EFFECT: Unleashing the Power of Compassion by David Crosby

Publisher: New Hope Publishers | Published: May 9, 2016 | Formats: eBook  and paperback (176 pages) | ASIN: B01E0MHFII and ISBN: 9781596694712 | Origin: NetGalley

 

Cover: Courtesy of New Hope Publishers

 

Thoughts:

THE CARE EFFECT: Unleashing the Power of Compassion by David Crosby is about a Christian Ministry based on the Great Commandment of love thy neighbor. It all begins with this author’s early life inside a church planting family but quickly leads into the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath. From inside New Orleans to Papua New Guinea, this author demonstrates who is thy neighbor, where to find your neighbor, and how this is all made clear through the Good Samaritan and other Scripture readings.

Author David Crosby brings us to the point where we must reflect on charity, ministry, and good works, through the questions at the end of each section, and we’ll learn where we are in helping our neighbor. How can we and our church family do better? And most importantly, are we doing these good works for human accolades or for so much more?

An inspiring and vinegary read where we’ll learn more about our own mindset on helping all in need rather than doing just what is comfortable for us. Are we crossing on the other side to avoid the scene before us, or are we moving in to help even when helping means putting down our own barriers?

 

***This opinion is my own.***

 

Preview:

Inside THE CARE EFFECT: Unleashing the Power of Compassion by David Crosby is a Christian Ministry based on the Great Commandment. Love thy neighbor is simultaneously taught and learned through pastors, sponsors, tragedy, resilience, and experience.  

In many ways, during Hurricane Katrina and afterward, people stepped forward without regard to themselves to aid those in need, but also, daily life will demonstrate when we all must ask ourselves who is really our neighbor? What can we do to help? 

The lessons learned travel around the globe to aid and move past the uncomfortable barriers to keep The Great Commandment consistent, real, and without partiality.

 

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Review of TANGLED LIES by Connie Mann

Publisher: Waterfall Press | Published: May 24, 2016 | Format: eBook (322 pages), Paperback (322 pages), and Audio CD | ASIN: B0194UEDEK, ISBN: 9781503934764, and Audio ISBN: 9781522613428 | Origin: NetGalley

 

Cover: Courtesy of Waterfall Press

 

Thoughts:

Will a cancer victim’s search for answers end up in a manhunt or will everything spiral out of control long before the police take a hard look?

TANGLED LIES by Connie Mann jolts us into twisting story just when Captain Sasha Petrov’s carefree life isn’t going along as she expects while the man that she works for becomes more vengeful by the minute inside a bad break up.

With her own reason for returning home to Safe Harbor, Sasha’s foster-mother’s sixtieth birthday was the perfect time to make her great escape. However, the problem with actually doing it was that her unattached lifestyle included her foster family, and she had to mend broken fences from her high school years to be there.

So be it. She will do this.

But had she not been detached from this loving family, she would’ve learned long ago about Mama Rosa’s cancer and how other treatments didn’t work. She wouldn’t have walked in on these experimental cancer treatments and the desperate wishes of her possibly dying foster-mother with a desire that goes up against her foster-father’s request.

What should she do now?

In the meantime, out of prison and in need of a new start and a bit of cash, Jesse Claybourne drives back into Safe Harbor with a boat that can win the race with a large purse attached to it. While he expected the looks that boats like The Painted Lady would get, he didn’t count on the animosity and hatred for his background infecting his hometown.

He never gave thought to all of this until the residents make it clear he’s not wanted here. In fact, he’s asked to leave. If he could, he would, and he’ll plan to go until he sees the one woman from his high school days who penetrated his heart.

However, she wasn’t one to get into long-term thoughts and planning, but will she be among those who don’t want him around or will their shared past still bind them together?

 

***This opinion is my own.***
 

Preview:

In TANGLED LIES, Connie Mann beings two people with a troubled past back together, but each of them have their own secrets with their own reasons for being back in Safe Harbor.

However, the woman with a sick family member and what could be a possibly dying wish needs help, and since many in the community don’t want Captain Sasha Petrov poking around in this town’s horrific past, he is the only one she can turn to.

Jesse Claybourne enjoyed growing up inside Safe Harbor and getting to know Captain Sasha Petrov and her family. Upon hearing of Mama Rosa’s illness he had to go and pay respects to such a loving family. But just seeing the master of cut and run, Sasha Petrov, quickly toyed with his emotions, and his willpower to ditch the town as soon as possible. When Sasha runs into similar troubles as his own, his protective instincts take hold.

She needs his help, and he needs her in his life.

Will they find the answer to Mama Rosa’s desperate wish without tearing apart an entire family? Or will this family survive and leave the hearts of Sasha and Jesse shredded in the process?

 

 

 

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Review of THE VALLEY OF DRY BONES: An End Times Novel by Jerry B. Jenkins

Publisher: Worthy Publishing | Publishes: May 31, 2016 | Formats: eBook (336 pages), Paperback, and Audio | ASIN: B017AE1YBM, ISBN: 9781617950087, and Audio CD ISBN: 9781633896215 | Origin: NetGalley

 

                                      Cover: Courtesy of Worthy Publishing

 

Thoughts:

THE VALLEY OF DRY BONES: An End Times Novel by Jerry B. Jenkins leads us into a not too far-fetched tale starring the drought ridden and abandoned state of California where the inhabitants that can go nowhere else are stuck.

When most people are long gone, some cared enough to stay, and these doers provide for those inside a wasteland when others refused. Ezekiel (Zeke) Thorppe, Doc, and Pastor Bill along with many others bring medical help, food, and the richness of water without profit or gain along with His word to give hope.

However, all are not accepting of not for profit ideals as others are in this mess of a place to make money and wreak havoc. Tension quirks up as they know who to avoid, but it’s the avoiding that becomes more dangerous once terrorism looms.

Who is guilty?

 

***This opinion is my own.***

 

Preview:

Jerry B. Jenkins writes THE VALLEY OF DRY BONES: An End Times Novel to include a current day dilemma in a fictional theme of abandonment by a nation and those left to fend for themselves.

In the wake of a political storm and a presidential bid, those left, after a declaration that the entire state of California is a disaster area, are no longer protected by the laws of the United States as only a scant military presence will stay.

The remnants are eclectic in background, values, and ancestry, but while they fight to survive, the California desert can make enemies out of friends as insults hover over helping hands when a government detects a terrorist threat.

But who is the threat?

 

51hNJwZ6AZL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_Perilous Judgment

Review of PERILOUS JUDGMENT: A Real Justice Thriller by Dennis Ricci

Publisher: Waterfall Press | Published: May 17, 2016 | Formats: eBook (496 pages), Paperback, and Audio | ASIN: B0188IN0OI, ISBN: 9781503934771, and Audio ASIN: B01E0I26UE | Origin: NetGalley

 

Cover: Courtesy of Amazon 

 

 

Thoughts:

Inside Dennis Ricci’s PERILOUS JUDGMENT: A Real Justice Thriller, we are shoved into a political headliner within the Federal courts to become ensnared in a tug-of-war where law, justice, and corruption battle together in two different countries. On either side of the border, whoever gets in the way receives a death sentence, as we can’t put this book down!

Federal District Judge Edward Lamport enjoys his courtroom, stirs up his counterparts, and understands the laws, but his court calendar is stalled as one decision led to another landing this immigration case before him. His decision isn’t yet made, but Los Angeles gangs already promise to end his life before he ends his case, but that’s just the flash point of this tale.

Would anyone be happy with his answer? The inclusion of the US Marshals into this Judge’s daily life, a bullet proof vest, and a gun with attached lessons on shooting to kill tells us not a chance.

While some of our current day news stories will become even more startling causing a host of different questions needing answers, a call from Mexico throws us into a deadfall within the Mexican side of Lamport’s family. This has all become even more personal to a son of the judge.

Edward Lamport needs to break this particular news to his wife, and while peril can, on a daily basis, infiltrate the Federal court system, the real pitfall comes as she is to learn that her husband neglected to tell all about his family ties. And this quicksand might just have the making of his end in so many other ways. Families on both sides of the Mexican border have a share of double trouble that attaches them.

Who can he trust?

When this handpicked judge goes to the “right” side for help, things will only grow worse. What is the honorable judge willing to do or could he run out of time just as he tries to decide?

***This opinion is my own.***

 

Preview:

Dennis Ricci’s PERILOUS JUDGMENT: A Real Justice Thriller reaches inside the life of a Federal judge and into his court calendar where danger breeds. 

The Honorable Edward Lamport has backstroked within the waters of controversy during his stay, and he understands that many dislike him and his decisions. For the most part, Edward takes the death threats with a shrug—as it is almost built-in to the job description—and it wasn’t as if he didn’t know the possible dangers, threats, and news assaults as a Federal judge because he did. Despite these things, Edward Lamport took the Federal District bench with the full support of his loving wife.

It wasn’t until a call for help reached him from Mexico did this judge realize just how fast a family secret could change everything.

From love and marriage to children and work, everything gets upended, and his cards lay bare on the table. This pain his wife feels cuts through him, but it was a pain that would’ve come much earlier had he’d done the right thing and told her.

Now with lives depending on his openness, he will be the father that he never was and help his son even while everything on this day comes with a cost.

Meanwhile, Carlos considers himself happy with the life that was provided for him. He goes to work and wants to do a great job. In fact, he has done so, and he has been granted even more responsibility. This is when he discovers what is really going on behind the scenes in Mexico’s largest bank and the corruption it fuels through a money-laundering on two sides of the Mexican border. In the scope of his job responsibilities, he has also uncovered the accountability of corruption. It begins at the top and filters through some of Mexico’s government offices. 

Carlos needs to keep this trouble away from his mother’s doorstep, but he tells her cryptically for her own safety before he goes on the run.

Will Carlos make it to the United States border alive? 

 

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Review of RESTORED by Tanya Eavenson

Publisher: Clean Reads | Published: February 10, 2016 | Format: eBook | ASIN: B01BNSZBEM Series: Unending Love | Origin: Author 

 

Cover: Courtesy of Amazon

Thoughts:

In RESTORED by Tanya Eavenson, real life decisions blend seamlessly with fiction to lift us into a deeper meaning of love and loss along with a true appreciation of love’s depth.

The phases of life, love, and death are brought about by this author in a romance that moves from trust and forgiveness to unconditional and satisfying to terrifying but committed with life-changing decisions, roles, and acceptance hanging in the balance.

An old love with no hope and new fears brings forth a story with endearing characters, strong family, and undying faith in a fantastic read!  

To fall in love for a second time isn’t even a desire as grief still encompasses Elizabeth Roberts. In fact, she tells an old flame that a friend is all she needs and wants.  Although, her husband, Chris died four years ago, the grief for her and one of his sons is still raw as it was early on.

Meanwhile, Dr. Steven Moore is usually the one fighting to save lives, but he’s out of time, out of options, and just wants to fulfill a promise he made to Elizabeth’s husband. Yes, he loves her, and yes, he wanted a future for them. But cancer has taken hold destroying any possibilities of living that dream, but it hasn’t taken his love for her.

While she’s unsure of his intentions, what she doesn’t know will remain a secret. How could their past ever be restored when their future is over?

***This opinion is my own.***
 

 

Preview:

RESTORED by Tanya Eavenson brings two old flames together under the worse of circumstances where the pain of the past is still alive and the death of a future has just begun.

Dr. Steven Moore is ready to die. With a diagnosis of cancer, he’s not able to give his old love himself, but he can give her a better life. Of course, things could have been taken care of behind the scenes, but he needs to see her. He wants to take some new memories away to bring with him into his last days. However, once she makes the declaration that a friend is what she needs, he’s faced with a new set of problems and a desire not to bring her more pain.

He had been selfish because it may have been trying to be just her friend before, but he won’t be her dying friend. She doesn’t need any more pain.

For Elizabeth Roberts, today is just like yesterday.

When her husband, Chris, died just four years ago, her faith struggled, her finances tanked, and she was scared. Things for her are just as bad at the present time. To see this man before her only adds to everything she’s been through. Her old boyfriend can’t get more than what she can give. Elizabeth is still in love with Chris and can’t be expected to pick up where this prior relationship left off before her husband entered her picture.

However, things have seemed off with her old flame, but maybe this newly defined friendship could be what they both need to get on the right path. Maybe he just needs a friend too.

Could they be there for each other?

 

9781441230263sinsofthepast

Review of SINS OF THE PAST by Dee Henderson, Dani Pettrey, and Lynette Eason

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers | Published: May 3, 2016 Formats: eBook, Paperback, and Hardcover (384 pages) | ASIN: B01CRHOTE6, ISBN: 9780764217975, and ISBN: 9780764217982 |  Origin: NetGalley 

 

Cover: Courtesy of Bethany House Publishers

 

Thoughts:

SINS OF THE PAST by Dee Henderson, Dani Pettrey, and Lynette Eason drops us readers inside three different stories of romantic suspense that keeps us reading late into the night. These tales have us falling in love with the characters while struggling to stay calm in their darkest moments! You’ll discover the heroes and heroines of Missing, Shadowed, and Blackout are all so real . . .

In Dee Henderson’s Missing, we will run into a scenario where we’d all have complete and utter dread.

A Sheriff’s mother goes missing, but it’s been hours since anyone had even seen her. With not enough cameras and little to no sightings or information, the most logical suspects would be John Graham’s arrests from his past career as an undercover cop inside the Chicago Police Department. The clock ticks and leads dry up, but will they find her in time? Or could the next body be hers?

Fall in love with the Sheriff and the Lieutenant while they run out of options!

Afterward, we’ll travel to Alaska in Shadowed by Dani Pettrey to meet a smart and engaging charter fisherman who has come home from where he used to be to where he loves to be, after having learned some lessons along the way.

This young man knows firsthand that weather isn’t all that Alaska deals with. In fact, even when summer is upon his state, the cold war still runs deep in the cold waters between two countries, and these frenemy nations come together from time to time to make good public relations or Olympic Gold while trust stays at a minimum.

On an odd weather day, one American open-water swimming competitor hires Ben McKenna’s charter, and all goes well, until a floater is found. It doesn’t take long for his passenger to recognize the dead woman. Her past with this Russian swimmer had “run afoul” long ago. Can what’d happened back in college days have followed her here? Will she be next?

It’s not easy to fall in love when someone is out there waiting to pounce, but we’ll end up hoping it can happen even as we follow them into danger!

But inside Lynette Eason’s Blackout, we are not far from home, but we are very far from safety.

It only took one dead brother-in-law to let her know she couldn’t get anymore help. His help led to his death and to her guilt over her sister’s loss. Now, this young woman stays away from friends, family, and relationships. It’s not those precious memories that she can’t find that are the problem, but the danger to her and those around her is the very fact that she just might recall. What doesn’t someone want her to remember?

As an EMT, Macey Adams provides help to others, but even the police detective living next door isn’t someone she would ask for assistance. If he comes too close, he’d be a dead man, but one man’s jail release is about to unleash more danger than ever before. Now, this detective lands in the middle of it all. He wants answers, but can she give them? He may want so much more, but can she allow this?

The pages move fast and we’ll wish for love to stay warm once fire melts her cold heart, but once danger chills them, will their love survive or will more pain follow?

 

***This opinion is my own.***

 

Preview:

Inside SINS OF THE PAST uncover stories of romantic suspense!

Dee Henderson’s Missing, begins as a Wyoming sheriff, John Graham, goes back to Chicago. It’s not a happy occasion. His elderly mother went missing, and his concern is that his past has caught up to both of them. Will he ever see her alive again?

Shadowed by Dani Pettrey brings on danger once Ben McKenna pulls a body from the waters of Alaska. Ben has more than an international incident on his hands as the victim’s identity is clear. A top, Russian, open-water swimming star is gone, but was there more to her life than most know? Could she have been a spy?

In Lynette Eason’s Blackout, a surprise visit turned deadly, and the memory block it left made walls of scar tissue around Macey Adams heart. Will she remember what she’s missing before someone else she cares about meets their end? Or will she die first while just trying to remember?    

 

 

9781420138931lastpromise

Review of LAST PROMISE by Scarlett Dunn

Publisher: Zebra (Kensington) | Published: April 26, 2016 | Format: eBook (352 pages), and Mass Market Paperback, (352 pages) | ASIN: B0138NH9SG and ISBN: 9781420138931 | Series: The McBride Brothers | Origin: NetGalley 

 

Cover: Courtesy of Kensington Publishing Corp

Thoughts:

In this last of The McBride Brothers series, LAST PROMISE by Scarlett Dunn, you’ll uncover an intriguing Christian tale not only pulling you toward the edgy side in the early Western culture of both language and actions but also into a romance of opposites! You’ll find a runaway Brit. and a play and go cowboy seem to connect, but will someone keep them from sealing the deal?

Luke McBride is a churchgoing man possessing a tough and tumble personality exuding charm to capture the ladies. An easygoing manner puts him at ease with the unabashed saloon doves he dares to visit, the town folk, and those single women scrambling for a marriage match. However, unlike his brothers, Luke keeps himself far away from a lasso of wedded bliss, shotgun or otherwise. In fact, the town’s women seem all too aware that he’s a player.

Meanwhile, British heiress Mary Ann Hardwicke is on the run from an arranged marriage where love never enters the frame. She takes a desperate leap of faith to the only place in America where she holds a connection. Mary Ann is sure that trouble may follow her, and her uncle must know. She will be honest for safety sake.

Her unescorted travels had led her into a host of situations to arrive in a West that’s wilder than she had ever heard. Stepping off the stagecoach, she discovers a man with two flirtatious women on his arms, but in a matter of one minute, the same cowboy has fists and names flying in a street brawl.

Now, she’s beginning to wonder. Was her travel here one big mistake? It only takes another few minutes for Mary Ann to walk into the beautiful hotel that her uncle owns, and she begins to calm as she takes in the elegance she’s at once surrounded with and had been accustomed to.

Will he let her stay? Or will a danger that is sure to arrive cost him just too much?

 

***This opinion is my own.***

 

Preview:

LAST PROMISE by Scarlett Dunn brings one British lady and one wild sided cowboy in close proximity only to find that his playing ways have not a chance with this woman’s heart.

Her background has made her sure it’s love or nothing in her life, and since love will not be, she’s fine alone.

Circumstances may change but not all people can follow. Maybe Luke McBride has met the one, but maybe that one woman could never be his. While faith has found Luke, his lifestyle may reflect something else and while the British heiress, Mary Ann Hardwicke, has found a place she wants to call home, maybe it’s a home not meant to be.

When family, faith, and change blend together, will two opposites unite as one? Or does her trouble mean a whole lot more pain than she had ever imagined?

 

Cover: Courtesy of Amazon

Review of PARIS IN OAKLAND by Eliza Q. Hemenway

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform | Published: March 18, 2016 | Format: Paperback (102 pages) | ISBN: 9781519578518 | Origin: Author

 

Cover: Courtesy of goodreads

 

Thoughts:

Eliza Q. Hemenway yanks us into a true David and Goliath size battle in PARIS IN OAKLAND. For her daughter, Katherine, she routinely goes up against doctors, hospitals, medical facilities, and insurance claims all because of Lyme disease. Faith will be tested. To just keep her daughter out of pain and very much alive, quite literally, this mother advocates in every sense of the word.

In reading Katherine’s story, the tension mounts quick, and like the tick that started us down this path, the issues that this insect created just won’t let us go.

We’ve all had to fight battles for those we love, but to watch, as this mother did, a child suffer but receive no help to inadequate help is something happening right out of today’s headlines, but it was happening long before today and will continue to occur. Surreal medical deadlocks with bulging bureaucracies are decreasing the healing odds while anger, sadness, hope, tears, and bedside dangers blend together as we go inside PARIS IN OAKLAND.

However, this author isn’t just showing us her journey. She’s moved back the curtains exposing a mother’s pain hidden in layers to help others who struggle with Lyme disease, and she makes us watch the opposite sides of medical schools of thought when it comes down to this or that doctrine versus the patient in heartrending ways. This is not a pretty sight. This author states plainly, the lack of awareness, understanding, treatment, and help doesn’t just happen in her doctor offices, her hospitals, or her labs. These are all systemic issues inside the treatment of Lyme disease that costs patients so very much including their lives.

Where there is a tick, Lyme disease will not be far away, and a battle will come to life inside the host person once a tick enters. This battle plus a different type of war will take place in every medical office that this patient host enters, and every day this continues to happen as every bit of silence keeps this war moving forward.

PARIS IN OAKLAND by Eliza Q. Hemenway is a book that I truly recommend.

***This opinion is my own.***

 

Preview:

In PARIS IN OAKLAND, Eliza Q. Hemenway treads a road of hope and pain on the hunt of a treatment of Lyme Disease for her daughter, Katherine.

Katherine’s story is not an outlier in a nightmare no one would face inside the Lyme Disease pathway. In fact, it’s the ordeal that many have dealt with, continue to battle, and some are just yet beginning to wish they could make it go away. However, a turf war happening inside the medical community over Lyme is far from over and each patient comes face to face with horrific situations where hope and faith are on the edge of pain and despair.

When a mother wants her child to live life without the painful torment of Lyme disease, having no knowledge of the controversy that surrounds this diagnosis, she is thrown into an unthinkable position inside the medical community. The battles of doctrine trample over the patient on the table paving a road to lack of hope, lack of support, and lack of understanding.

Can faith remain or will the falter of hope lead to life or death?

513es7JEQYL._SX309_BO1,204,203,200thesolidrock

Review of THE SOLID ROCK (Hymns of the West Book 5) by Faith Blum

Publisher: Faith Blum | Published: March 26, 2016 | Formats: eBook (261 pages and Paperback (418 pages) | ASIN: B01CWCDBJK and ISBN: 9781530400324 | Series: Hymns of the West | Origin: Author 

 

Cover: Courtesy of Faith Blum

Thoughts:

In THE SOLID ROCK (Hymns of the West Book 5) by Faith Blum, we are dropped into a tale when a Pinkerton detective goes missing, but he’s not the first man to disappear from inside Cheyenne. This Western comes steeped in suspense to combine faith and God’s Word in some of these characters but not all. Good versus evil and light versus dark collide often between these pages keeping you reading and guessing what comes next!

This missing gentleman’s daughter, Elizabeth, goes the only route she is sure to help, and it’s to the place her father belongs.

Meanwhile, Joshua Brookings has become a too famous Pinkerton detective who took some needed time off. The decisions he has to make are weighing heavily on him, but his freedom has only made him sure of what path to follow when he is summoned by Mr. William Pinkerton.

Joshua’s skills can save a man, but his heart and soul can lose much in the process. However, his friend needs him, and he will go. An unseen danger, a friend in need, and a daughter left alone await Joshua’s arrival, but confusion turns into mystery and suspense with nighttime visitors, a hidden office with notes, and questions that surround most of the people he meets.  

The missing man left instructions and a who can you trust list, leaving Joshua with more questions than answers.

Can Joshua solve the crime, save this life, and keep himself together or will this be the crime he can’t solve and the life he can’t save before coming unglued?

Does romance dominate in this mission or does it go further than this?

Throughout the west of the 1800’s, God’s Word wasn’t a part of the criminal’s plan, and the upright people who held to their morals could be torn apart by the rougher people, terrain, and elements like never before to sink them lower than they ever imagined.   

Can faith endure and will love win the day or will pain and loss follow as a result of this criminal element that’s so much closer than anyone could guess? 

***This opinion is my own.***

 

Preview:

THE SOLID ROCK by Faith Blum is the standalone fifth book of the Hymns of the West series where you’ll uncover Joshua Brookings still is a Pinkerton Detective.

The mission seems almost too simple, at first, but Mr. William Pinkerton believes foul play is afoot in Cheyenne! Brookings is to find the man, help him solve the case, and go back to his own life, and he plans to do just that.  

Getting to the location brought back some good and bad memories, but Joshua wasn’t going to stay in those thoughts. He was preparing his mind for the case as he knew it to be, and he began to focus on some of his own questions.  How could any case take ten years and still be in progress? Knowing the Pinkerton detective only makes it more incredible since if Mr. Edward Harris could have solved it, he would have.  

Now, he began to wonder about the man who hired Mr. Harris. What did they really know about him?

But once at the Harris home, Joshua sees the extensive notes left by Edward that makes him realize just how simple this case will not be, and he realizes the only way to find Edward Harris is go undercover.

The last time Joshua did this, it nearly took his sanity and risked his faith, but knowing Edward Harris and his daughter, he needed to find his friend and set things right. Yes, even if he loses himself in the process by drowning in the sinking sand despite his best intentions, he will do this.

However, the dangerous people that come into focus make it less likely that either Mr. Harris or Joshua Brookings will end up unscathed!

 

 

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Review of HER SMALL-TOWN ROMANCE by Jill Kemerer

Publisher: Love Inspired | eBook Published: April 1, 2016 and Paperback Published: March 22, 2016 | Format: eBook and Paperback (224 pages) | ASIN: B015W7TMDQ and ISBN: 9780373719488 | Origin: Author 

 

Cover: Courtesy of Harlequin.com

 

Thoughts:

Jill Kemerer’s HER SMALL-TOWN ROMANCE keeps the pages turning as you fall in love! In Lake Endwell, Michigan you’ll discover the closeness of a small town and the overflowing love inside the Sheffield family that keeps you wishing to live there. However, it’s one of their own who wants out!

Bryan Sheffield had his personal business gutted throughout the town, thanks to his former wife’s cheating ways, but it’s when he sees happy families, loving couples, and expectant fathers, he just wants to bolt. However, it’s now reached to the point where inside his own family, he’s becoming claustrophobic. Bryan has made up his mind to leave, and all he has to do is wait for the right time. The place is far enough that crosses the border over into Canada and hopefully bridges the pain as he’s goes back to where his peace can grow in the wilderness there. Like his grandfather, he’s emotionally and faithfully tied to the earth.

Meanwhile, she got a degree and had a job and enjoyed living in Las Vegas, until her grandmother died, but it was then, Jade Emerson had to go. Mimi was the only family that kept her rooted there, and when she was gone, so then the only real love Jade ever had in life was lost. In this newest adventure, her college degree wasn’t wasted, but the job she had been in Vegas wasn’t where she wanted to be.

Her mother wants her in Paris, her father wouldn’t care where she goes, and she’s determined to uncover her grandmother’s earlier life in Lake Endwell, Michigan.

However, Jade’s panic attacks would grow as her fear has not left her, and she’s going to face all of it head on. Living in a forest town, she was going to conquer what has held her back since childhood. Jade Emerson wants to prove to herself that she’s not “little girl lost” anymore.

You’ll love this romance while marveling at the peaceful town in Michigan only to uncover what secrets and fears lay ahead!

 

***This opinion is my own.***

 

Preview:

HER SMALL-TOWN ROMANCE by Jill Kemerer shows Jade Emerson’s new life in Lake Endwell, Michigan. She’s the to-be new owner of a T-shirt shop as she searches for long ago aspects of her grandmother’s life that she wants on the road to a new life of her own.  However, she’s got to face obstacles, issues, and her own fears to even have a shot toward happiness.  

At the beginning of her new road, she finds that she’s met the go-to-guy of the wilderness in guide Bryan Sheffield. but will her past life steer him clear of helping her? Will problems stop her chance before it even begins?

Concurrently, wilderness guide Bryan Sheffield has a purpose for teaching this class, and if it can happen, it will lead him away from his pain and into a new uncomplicated life.

Things might already be looking bad for him.  

Despite his advertising and the family’s help, only one person shows up to learn thus leaving him with a problem that he never expected.

It’s more than obvious that Lake Endwell’s newcomer can’t take his class, but he needs to make this change. In the middle of it all, can he help Jade Emerson and help himself? Or will both of their situations become increasingly worse?

 

 

Cover: Courtesy NetGalley

Review of DAILY WISDOM 3-Minute Devotions for Women by Barbour Books

Publisher: Barbour Books | Publishes: April 1, 2016 | Formats: Paperback (192 pages) | ISBN: 9781634096898 |  Origin: NetGalley

 

Cover: Courtesy NetGalley

 

Thoughts:

The DAILY WISDOM 3-Minute Devotions for Women by Barbour Publishing provides Scripture with modern devotional stories and prayers in a quick fashion to be an easy reach inside today’s bustling pace, bringing us to Him! From our frenzied interactions to our entertainment offerings, we face choices and conflicting messages, but His word can still direct our steps and light our path through our God conversations.

As new generations of women face differences in today’s world than their counterparts did as the ladies of yesteryear, this faithful reading takes us into His word to start a day, end a day, or bring Him into a midday break and inside His ways.

 

***This opinion is my own.***

 

Preview:

Inside DAILY WISDOM 3-Minute Devotions for Women by Barbour Publishing, today’s women are brought to speak with God using Biblical verses, timely devotions, and faithful prayer starters all in accelerated succession.

The new generations come to God from within new complexities, and these devotions mesh today’s issues with God moments to help guide women through this hurry up and go world.

 

 

 

9780736966078_cftsitstaylove

Review of SIT, STAY, LOVE by Dana Mentink

Publisher: Harvest House Publishers | Publishes: April 1, 2016 | Format: eBook and Paperback (224 pages) | ASIN: B01CV4D9P0 and ISBN: 9780736966078  | Origin: NetGalley 

 

Cover: Courtesy of Harvest House Publishers

 

Thoughts:

SIT, STAY, LOVE by Dana Mentink takes the stuffing out of sad scenarios to repurpose them with love, laughter, and a 13 year old dog named Tippy.

With an inheritance, you’d expect duties, paperwork, and lawyers, but inside SIT, STAY, LOVE by Dana Mentink, you’ll discover Tippy, as she trots into the lives of those around her, pulling us into stories of pain, love, forgiveness, and family! 

Cal Crawford has one thing on his mind, and Tippy is not it.  In fact, the only thing he ever wanted has overtaken his life, but without it, he doesn’t have much of a life. He’s a superstar pitcher in the big leagues giving off the appearance of fame equals glamour, leading everyone to imagine such a full and active life. They’re half right. He. Must. Stay. Active.  Friends are few and family is fewer after the death of his mother, but he stays obsessively focused.  And the last thing he needs is to inherit a senior dog.

There are many things still to do after her death since the lawyers want documents, the ranch needs work, and the dog needs a new home, but for now he settles in with a dog sitter for Tippy because he has no other choices. And he’ll get to everything else in time.  

Meanwhile, Gina Palmer is a new entry in the dog sitting business and a never before addition to the celebrity clientele set. These clients are in a world far removed from hers. She’s lost her dream teaching job, her dream child, her income, and her heart, but this business is paying more than unemployment. 

She just needs the job. Her car announces her money woes, but she’s dressed in a jacket and is ready to handle the newest client with the required “kid gloves”. And she does well, until Mr. Big Star Pitcher offers to put her and the dog into an apartment, condo, or some other place. It’s then she realizes just how presumptuous and egotistical Mr. Cal Crawford really is, and as she’s reaching for the door, Gina knows that she’s going to be reason her cousin lost this client. 

Cal Crawford comes after her trying to convince her what she thought isn’t what he meant at all. He still wants to use the sitting service, while he finds a home for the dog.  Okay, she’s accepting his logic and her cousin’s paycheck, but she’s not-so-ready to accept his calling the dog it. Tippy is a she, and Gina will correct him. 

While love finds this dog, she finds those to love, and Tippy will have you puzzled in one moment and laughing in the next. Soon, Gina will come to learn what others knew before her.

There’s just something about Tippy!

***This opinion is my own.***
 

Preview:

Author Dana Mentink introduces cynical Cal Crawford who is focused on his God-given talents and his own goal while refusing to face the unexpected depths of grief, anger, resentment, and a dog named Tippy. Only this leads to him facing confrontation by a dog sitter, control artist named Gina Palmer in SIT, STAY, LOVE!

With Gina Palmer, this author connects the crusty baseball pro and the love of a good dog to a heart that’s been broken inside a dreamer who lost her dream and her love.

These three meet, their lives change, and their differences in understanding dawn, but two hearts need to heal and forgive. Tippy is already connected to the baseball pitcher through family, but can this dog make this man sit, stay, and love?

The dog sitter seems to have it easy in the creating love department plus she will sit with Tippy, but could a dog make this sitter stay or will she head for safer ground?

 

 

 

 

Cover: Courtesy of

Review of THE STRONGHOLD by Lisa Carter

Publisher: Abingdon Press | Publishes: March 15, 2016 | Format: eBook, Paperback, and Hardcover (320 pages) | ASIN: B015JL34VG, ISBN: 9781426795480, and ISBN: 9781501816314  | Origin: NetGalley

 

Cover: Courtesy of Abingdon Press

Thoughts:

Can the manhunt for a murderer bring together two people from different cultures with love and hate lodged between them?

Inside THE STRONGHOLD by Lisa Carter, Apache tribal cop Pilar To-Clanny usually works with certain Special Agents inside the FBI until right now.  FBI Special Agent, Alex Torres combines Pilar’s past and present to mingle with pain and confusion around the newest body found on her reservation, and we are thrust into a suspenseful ride filled with horrid memories, the newest crimes, the lives of the latest victims, and the fight to survive!

Children go missing, girls disappear, and torturous and deadly rituals combine inside dark but related tales on both sides of the border, entangling seriously flawed and formerly wedded characters into a whole new take of their backgrounds, their heritages, and their memories to lead them into an ever increasing danger.

Are the people around them helping or hurting in this search? Could such evil overtake either of them leaving their family to play the victim?

***This opinion is my own.***
 

Preview:

THE STRONGHOLD by Lisa Carter brings two people with a combined past together again over a dead body!

FBI Special Agent, Alex Torres and Apache tribal cop, Pilar To-Clanny were not known as a happily married couple in the end, and neither has interacted with each other to change things. However, this case forces them to face down past and present deaths to find the one who kills for sport. A madman who preys on the both sides of the Mexico border takes on a sadistic evil along with other drug killings.

Could his FBI team and the Tribal cops go up against drug cartels only to find themselves back to the beginning of the story? Does this tale put them and their loved ones in a deadly game of truth or dare?

 

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Review of MY MOTHER’S QUILTS: Devotions from a Legacy of Needlework by Ramona Richards

Publisher: Worthy Inspired | Publishes: March 8, 2016 | Formats: eBook and Hardcover (240 pages) | ASIN: B017AOK41I and ISBN: 9781617956126 |  Origin: NetGalley

 

Cover: Courtesy Worthy Inspired

 

Thoughts:

MY MOTHER’S QUILTS: Devotions from a Legacy of Needlework by Ramona Richards is an amazing devotional drawn from family, life, history of the quilting craft, and creations handed down with love!

Quilting is a fascinating craft, but the history that goes along with this author’s story pulls us into the family pieces and guides us through them ending with our own faith enrichment. The memories shared are heartfelt and awe-inspiring, threading love, faith, and hope through Scripture, history, and family devotion into action through prayer.  

***This opinion is my own.***

 

Preview:

Ramona Richard’s MY MOTHER’S QUILTS: Devotions from a Legacy of Needlework shows through stories, Scripture, and prayer that history, love, and faith matter. She demonstrates the yesterdays of those who are now gone live on through more than inheritance but also through lessons learned, life struggles, and stories passed to the next generation. 

While Biblical verses frame each devotional tale, the family member’s life showcased through the quilting craft brings together new ways to think about history and ancestors while the prayer starter ends as a bridge on this new path. 

MY MOTHER’S QUILTS: Devotions from a Legacy of Needlework brings into focus God’s everlasting love and His grace upon all generations. 

 

 

Review of THE HEART OF WORSHIP (30 Days of Worship) DEVOTIONAL by David C Cook

Publisher: David C. Cook | Published: June 25, 2013 | Formats: eBook  (129 pages) | ASIN: B00DMTD972 | Origin: Purchase 

 

Cover: Courtesy of Amazon

 

Thoughts:

THE HEART OF WORSHIP (30 Days of Worship) Devotional by David C Cook is based on the amazing song The Heart of Worship by Matt Redman. This devotional expands the song lyrics to make one take notice of what Worship is, what it is all about, and how Worship should not become something else all the while using Scripture to take you into the direction of what Worship is really all about.

Using an easy format and thirty days, this devotional can change the way, the reason, and the how to Worship while learning something about ourselves in the process.  

I highly recommend this devotional to get back to where our heart should have been all along and find out how to change our minds to go there too.  

***This opinion is my own.***

 

Preview:

In thirty days and in many ways, THE HEART OF WORSHIP (30 Days of Worship) by David C Cook, based on the amazing song The Heart of Worship by Matt Redman, focuses on Scriptures and prayers for guidance to appreciate and understand what’s inside the real heart of Worship.

The prayers help show the way and the devotional stories accentuate the Scripture passages to make the thirty days a personal journey inside true Worship.    

 

 

 

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Review of LOVE LIKE A ROCK (The Baker Family Saga Series) by Allison Kohn

Beta Reader Special Peek | Publisher: Allison Kohn | Publishes: May 10, 2016 Formats: eBook (81 pages) | ASIN: B01EI0MVKO | Series: The Baker Family Saga | Origin: Author 

 

Cover: Courtesy of Amazon

Thoughts:

Inside LOVE LIKE A ROCK by Allison Kohn, we uncover a Western Historical tale about coming home, lessons from the past, new friends, old friends, and true love!

It’s 1865 and the Civil War had come to its end and three cousins had been in the middle of it all. Only two survived. The tattered remnants of the Civil War are returning home, but winter isn’t far off and home won’t come into sight until spring.  

Linda (nee Baker) had met a wounded family friend and former Union soldier in Nat Thomas, but in Phillip Jensen, she’d meet her husband. It wasn’t a marriage the way one would have dreamed it to be, but in meeting this Confederate Private, saved by her friend, love was easy to discover as she worked in the South’s hospitals and saw the ravages of this war.  

Nat with an injury and the newly married couple begin their trek not sure how long before they’d arrive at their destination. However, it’s the adventures they have, the circumstances they face, and the people they meet adding more suspense and danger to the daunting trip!

You’ll find an enjoyable love story where God’s word is central throughout and lessons of tolerance, faith, and endurance are aligned in the trials of these amazing characters.

***This opinion is my own.***

 

Preview:

Allison Kohn provides a brief history of the Baker Family as a lead into the standalone sixth book of the Baker Family Saga, LOVE LIKE A ROCK.

Linda Jenson has seen the Civil War injured and dying, but this war is over, although peace wasn’t to be had as another war that has been smoldering with the American Indians and the white man became heated and raging. The Civil War had put family against friend, but freedom has been won and fences need to be mended even though much of the intolerance still exists and has ventured into the Indian community.

Thankfully, she was going home, and she’s bringing with her an injured friend along with her new husband to the Willamette Valley in Ferndale, Oregon. Through it all, Linda struggles to understand how this all seems to keep happening, but she grows in faith both in God and in her husband.

It’s a hard life as they travel back paths to keep safe from the battles raging elsewhere, but this group meets some helpful friends and many foes along their way.

Linda’s situation becomes happier and harder with the expectation of her first child, but it’s mid winter and a quiet fort is becoming a dangerous place despite her labor pains that just won’t wait. Indians who could be their enemies become the ones to help this group the most.

However, it’s the dangers that still lay ahead that make a homecoming seem so very far off!

 

Cover: Courtesy of Harvest House Publishers

Review of PLANTED WITH HOPE (The Pinecraft Pie Shop Series) by Tricia Goyer and Sherry Gore

Publisher: Harvest House | Publishes: March 1, 2016 | Formats: eBook and Paperback (336 pages) | ASIN: B018676G1K and ISBN: 9780736961318 | Series: The Pinecraft Pie Shop Series | Origin: NetGalley 

 

Cover: Courtesy of Harvest House Publishers

 

Thoughts:

In PLANTED WITH HOPE (The Pinecraft Pie Shop Series) by Tricia Goyer and Sherry Gore, we visit the Miller family in Pinecraft, Florida awhile after their move from Ohio to aid in Dat’s health. Although he still does have issues, this move works for him to improve his condition.

The problem is that Hope Miller struggles with the relocation still. Along with her, we try to find a place in Pinecraft where she can belong, and we plunge into her feelings of loss, longing for the past, and despairing of the future. With many around her, she feels alone but not unloved, and she’s steadfastly pushing people away.

Meanwhile, the panic attacks are happening around people and have grown to include her own family, but she can’t seem to make it stop. Not wanting to become a burden, she makes a plan.

She’s attempting to forward her agenda and move back up North where she belongs as she writes a letter to her cousin. It’s funny to her that while the snowbirds come to Pinecraft to escape, she’s the one missing the seasons, the farming, and the gardening. Is there more from her old life that Hope’s been missing maybe even more than she realized? Or can she rebuild a life and find happiness in Pinecraft?

Through a journal written years before, by an Englisch woman, Hope begins to understand herself, her issues, and how to change plus she finds enjoyment again in discovering these aged assortment of recipes and amazing gardening tips too!

It’s only when a new teacher temporarily moves into town with his daughter, Emma, does she uncover that he could be her ticket back to the life she wants. However, it’s changes inside of herself and Pinecraft that brings more questions once this widower named Jonas Sutter becomes interested.

Wherever she plants herself, can she and her garden really grow? Is love after loss for either Jonas or Hope even possible?

***This opinion is my own.***

 

Preview:

PLANTED WITH HOPE by Tricia Goyer and Sherry Gore begins in Pinecraft, Florida inside an Amish community with another installment of  The Pinecraft Pie Shop series featuring another of the Miller sisters.

Hope Miller has been down since their move to the “Sunshine State” and the family recognizes her issues although she tries to hide it from them.

A plan is hatched between a widower and his sister to give the community something new and something to bring about new life, and it involves Lovina Miller’s property.  Upon learning this, Lovina sees the plan as something extraordinary she can give to the sister who craves something she had in Ohio, but in a place not far from their new home and near to the family and community gathering spot. She presents the gifted garden plot to Hope and the plan is met with shock and enthusiasm until the part about a community effort is revealed.

Hope loves and desires the peace and quiet time inside a garden. It’s the spiritual growth she finds in the new spurts of life and tending to God’s earth that give her this, but how can any of that happen with too many hands on the shovel and inside the soil? This was supposed to be something for Hope, but it seems that it’s turning into a little something for everyone.

The school children come to play with the dirt, and it seems that everyone else has their own idea of when, how, and what to plant.

In trying to escape the onslaught of the multitudes, Hope begins going to the garden in the early morning hours until the new school teacher meets her there with Emma.  Jonas Sutter is a widower caring for a daughter who shows Hope how much growing things means to him as a farmer.

The problem is that he will only be in Pinecraft for a season.

Can a season breed love and hope for a future as a shared family? Or will this friendship lead to more loss for all of them ahead?

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Review of INVISIBLE FOR YOUNG WOMEN: How You Feel Is Not Who You Are by Jennifer Rothschild

Publisher: Harvest House Publishers | Published: February 1, 2016 | Formats: eBook and Paperback (178 pages) | ASIN: B018676EUI and ISBN: 9780736965750 | Origin: NetGalley

 

Cover: Courtesy of Harvest House Publishers

 

Thoughts:

Jennifer Rothschild’s INVISIBLE FOR YOUNG WOMEN: How You Feel Is Not Who You Are brings to the forefront paths that insecurity, emotions, feelings, and situations can use pulling young women into a downward spiral of seeking approval, acceptance, and recognition in the worse of circumstances, through the human condition. Likened through the biblical Hosea to Gomer, young women of today can be searching out the wrong places and during the wrong times.

However, this author shows the many ways in which our own thinking can be powerful in putting our focus onto the One in whom we are loved, accepted, and special just because of who He is. The young women are reminded they are especially known, beloved, and are somebody’s through Scripture from not one but many Biblical versions and translations.

***This opinion is my own.***

 

Preview:

Through INVISIBLE FOR YOUNG WOMEN: How You Feel Is Not Who You Are, Jennifer Rothschild lays a groundwork in the study of Hosea and Gomer with a current day feel. This lesson along with many Scripture verses envelops the young women with understanding of their own feelings or situations and proves that these things do not change His view of them.

They are loved despite being imperfect, disconnected, or in the “wrong” crowd.

Jennifer Rothschild demonstrates with her own emotions, feelings, thoughts, and circumstances that everyone can and does feel many of these same emotions, but those emotions do not make anyone into someone they are not. Using proven self talk methods, this author teaches ways to combat feelings or emotions evoked by media, cultural influences, and social media to turn around their own wayward mind’s “put downs” or their “familiarity fatigue”.

She makes it a point to show that nothing can change His feelings not even other’s social media accounts!

He is love. They are loved. You are beloved.

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Review of A GIRL’S GUIDE TO MOVING ON: A Novel by Debbie Macomber

Publisher: Ballantine Books | Publishes: February 23, 2016 | Formats: eBook, Paperback, and Hardcover (352 pages) | ASIN: B00ZNE17B4, ISBN: 9780399566820, and 9780553391923 | Series: New Beginnings Series Book 2 of 2 | Origin: NetGalley

 

Cover: Courtesy of Ballantine Books

 

Thoughts:

Inside A GIRL’S GUIDE TO MOVING ON: A Novel by Debbie Macomber, we are witnesses to multifamily destruction paved with wrecked marriages then drop–kicked into the middle of an implosion of emotions coming from all sides!

A mother-in-law and daughter-in-law team up in the most unusual ways to protect a child, right some wrongs, and make new lives. They travel on to leave the destruction behind while the unknown path ahead—thought of as buoyancy to hope—is a chasm of pain, discomfort, injuries, and lessons long before hope runs aground.

Debbie Macomber lays bare the ends of cheating and chilled marriages only to create another family drama in just letting go and moving on.

Will Leanne and Nichole find their strength, learn from their mistakes, and live out their happiness while wading through the old and plodding through the new to regain family, love, and trust in themselves and others?

 

***This opinion is my own.***

 

Preview:

Leanne shares the guilt of her son’s cheating ways not because she taught him the ropes but because she let Jake learn these things from his father.  Without intervening for her and her family, she showed acceptance by tuning it out and staying married, acting happy, and playing the dedicated wife in public.

She’d never once asked herself what she was showing her son.

The guilt didn’t kick her until the day she knew for sure what was about to happen to the woman she loves as a daughter and to her grandchild who would be shaped by her own son.

Meanwhile, Nichole and Jake both knew of his father’s affairs. In fact, most of their country club friends did as well. She wanted to know why Leanne let it be, but Nichole had gained a mother in the end, and it wasn’t her place to guess at why. Losing her own parents early in life had left her with a whole lot of appreciation for her mother-in-law. Leanne became her second mom, and she figured whatever her reasons, they could not or should not be judged.

This conversation was not to be let go on it’s own when Leanne showed up to tell Nichole some devastating news.

However, this wasn’t the version of things she’d been expecting. For it was Leanne who informed her that Jake’s cheating left another woman pregnant. With much love and regret, Nichole was prepared to let her know that she couldn’t be like her mother-in-law, but Leanne didn’t approach it all from that expectation. In fact, she’d showed amazing solidarity in the pain and chose to not stay in her situation either.

Will the resulting family drama destroy them all or can any future beauty rise from the ashes?

 

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Review of PROMISE LODGE by Charlotte Hubbard

Publisher: Zebra (Kensington) | Published: February 23, 2016 | Format: eBook, Paperback, (320 pages) and Audio CD | ASIN: B00Y6RB2PA, ISBN: 9781420139419, and Audio CD ISBN: 9781520000695 | Origin: NetGalley 

 

Thoughts:

The first in a new series, PROMISE LODGE by Charlotte Hubbard is an Amish tale where an Old Order family leaves a community to find themselves and begin anew.

Coldstream was home to their parents and their growing years, but these three sisters needed out. A barn fire leads to the death of one husband and the brother-in-law of two others, but it wasn’t the only problem that happened in their former community. Domestic abuse was known about, discussed, and condoned. Their Bishop was taking the community down a path that not one of them wanted to travel while he treated marriage as a duty and obligation but not something more.

The starting of the Promise Lodge was outside of Old Order norms for women, and this caused a stir in the old community. The fact that one of Coldstream’s preachers went along caused the rumors. However, their first guest that visits them from their former community is a friend with news.

Deborah comes to Promise Lodge with a past, a story, and a troubling reason. Does her terrorizing tale hold any discrepancies?

***This opinion is my own.***

 

Preview:

Inside PROMISE LODGE, author Charlotte Hubbard brings one whole family and one preacher to a new life where they can go beyond their pain and grow inside an abandoned church campground as a new colony. Meanwhile, this new place is gaining a name for itself with Amish and Plain folk all around as a new colony where fresh starts are possible.

Three women are setting up apartments for single ladies while the men are readying cabins where new families will live while their new house is getting built. A Mennonite neighbor is happy to have more Plain folk around and comes to help with the new effort next door. But when Deborah comes looking for her fresh start, she knows she’d bring pain for one of the children. Noah and Deborah were once engaged, and she broke it off. Her reasons were dumb and without merit, but she can’t go back home.

She shares her troubles, her story, and her fear, and she’s given permission to stay at Promise Lodge. However, her being around Noah isn’t a reunion. She’s not sure that he’ll ever forgive her, and he seems to question the details of her story.

Will they blame her if trouble comes to their door?

 

Cover: Courtesy Amazon

Review of A SPY’S DEVOTION (The Regency Spies of London Book 1) by Melanie Dickerson

Publisher: Waterfall Press | eBook, Paperback and Audio Publishes: February 9, 2016 | Format: eBook, Paperback (320 pages) and Audio | ASIN: B014ERJ0MI, ISBN: 9781503950511 and AUDIO ASIN: B01AGLW7Q2 | Series: The Regency Spies of London (Book 1) | Origin: NetGalley

 

Cover: Courtesy Amazon

Thoughts:

Family? Treason? Forced Marriage? Strangers? Murder? Romance? Indeed!

A SPY’S DEVOTION (The Regency Spies of London Book 1) by Melanie Dickerson drops you into the life of Miss Julia Grey, and life isn’t all about the pomp, power, and wealth of London’s Regency Era. Although she’s bound by the rules and norms of proper behavior in all she does, behind the closed doors, you’ll find Julia only is partaking of a life that isn’t hers. The Wilhern family does seem to let her know at every turn that Julia’s life would have had a different accounting if it wasn’t for their goodness, but will she ever become a true member of this family?

Julia is more understanding of her situation now more than ever, but she does believe there something here for her inside these walls, until two gentlemen enter the picture. One is a drinker with gambling debts and one is a respected military man.  Only one man, Mr. Nicholas Langdon, seems to attract most of London’s women during the Season while the other man attracts more drink and a more dubious character.  

Miss Julia Grey is beginning to realize just how much of an outsider she really is once two women in the Wilhern household capture Nicholas Langdon’s attention in two different ways. Will life of privilege end here for Julia and will that come before or after the consequences of Treason enter the picture?  

Meanwhile, people visit, letters are exchanged, and death may enter this house at anytime!

***This opinion is my own.***

Preview:

Inside A SPY’S DEVOTION (The Regency Spies of London Book 1), Melanie Dickerson uncovers life during the Regency Era for the England elite finding dastardly deeds inside the human condition do not skip over the wealthy. In fact, money can offer the motives, the purposes, the scopes, and the disasters of any household covered only by the public manners and display of elegance.

Marriages can be bought or even sold as they are considered for wealth more than love. Although, these wealthy families are bound by the code of civility when seen, what anyone does in the dark and quiet can leap from page to action from peace to war and from death to murder!

As one knocks on the doors of treason anyone could answer. Who can be trusted?  Who is the spy?

Julia Grey is a relation treated as servant in the Wilhern’s household. Held to a family value that comes only from blood but not from relationship, Julia is discovering where she stands and who doesn’t stand by her.

In the meantime, Nicholas Langdon is due to go back to the battlefield once his injury is healed, and he’s coming close to the end of a stay in London.  He’s visiting during the Season and attending the balls and events around town. His only need is to keep the promise he made to a dying soldier. But what he learns about this promise opens a treasonous side door into the lives of others, and this British officer finds out this entrance may close behind him leading him into a trap.

Where family and Treason meet only disaster and death can follow!

 

 

 

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Review of LET’S LEARN ABOUT PSALM 23 by Catherine DeVries

Illustrated by:  Ryan Jackson | Publisher: David C. Cook | Publishes: February 1, 2016 | Formats: Brdbk (26 pages) | ISBN: 9780781412704 | Series: HeartSmart | Origin: NetGalley 

 

Cover: Courtesy of http://www.davidccook.com/

 

Thoughts:

Children will enjoy being with Jackson on his grandpa’s farm learning about farm chores and meeting barnyard animals all while preparing for those child-sized life storms!  

From baby lambs to chicken eggs, children tour life as a farmer and take their part in a story inside Let’s Learn about Psalm 23. Again, Author Catherine DeVries and illustrator Ryan Jackson team up to give us another playful read to engage children inside a creative world.

***This opinion is my own.***

 

Preview:

Inside Let’s Learn about PSALM 23, Author Catherine DeVries and illustrator Ryan Jackson bring a friend to help Jackson with chores and leads them into one of life’s unexpected storms. Now, these friends get to stay with grandma and learn about God and the Bible.

Jackson takes the lead in asking questions that would be on their minds while Grandma provides comfort until everyone rides out the storm learning Psalm 23!

Cover: Courtesy of

Review of THE SILVER SUITCASE by Terrie Todd

Publisher: Waterfall Press | Publishes: January 26, 2016 | Format: eBook and Paperback (362 pages) | ASIN: B013FS57P6 and ISBN: 9781503950498 | Origin: NetGalley

Cover: Courtesy of Amazon

Thoughts:

Inside THE SILVER SUITCASE by Terrie Todd, we drop in on Cornelia Faith Simpson and later on her granddaughter, Benita.

Cornelia’s a teen going on closer to a rebellious spirit while her country is moving ever closer to entering World War II.  Cornelia’s middle name doesn’t fit her since the day she lost her mother. She’s been called brave and strong for her age, but at the age of twelve what she really lost was her belief system, her model, and her hope. It’s only gotten worse with the depression, the war, and the pain that hasn’t really left her heart.  For Cornelia, it takes only three visitors to change her life from both inside and out. 

Her mother’s best friend, Eva, finally pays a visit years after the woman died, but she brings along her son, a long-lost prize, and some news. Will Eva have a hand in breaking Cornelia’s heart or will she be the friend that’s almost like a mother? 

Fast forward to her granddaughter, Benita, many years later. She’s married with children going through her own economic downturn, problems with her husband, and is at her own loss for faith.

Things seem to only get worse once her grandmother passes away leaving Benita with the silver suitcase!

***This opinion is my own.***
 

Preview:

THE SILVER SUITCASE by Terrie Todd begins in Canada in 1939 during the depression and her country’s entry into World War II.

Cornelia Faith Simpson is a county girl who at twelve became the woman of the farm-house once her mother died. She cooks, cleans, and helps with farm chores all while attending school. The date her mother died stole her twelfth birthday, stole her middle name from her life, and later on comes close to making her someone with heart of stone until she meets a young man.

Henry is the son of her mother’s best friend, Eva, and they’ve come for a visit. In fact, Henry is staying for the summer and for the first time in a long time, Cornelia feels herself thaw and begins to look forward to her days. She falls in love, and even endures Henry’s faith and some of it might start to make sense, again. Until the unspeakable happens to leave Cornelia with a secret, more loss, and wishing for death.

Many years later, her granddaughter, Benita, faces life’s pressures and problems along with the loss of her grandmother. She inherits the silver suitcase only to discover her grandmother’s own secrets before things for Benita can only get worse!

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Review of DATING, DINING, and DESPERATION (A Dear Daphne Novel) by Melody Carlson

Publisher: B&H Books | Published: March 1, 2014 | Formats: eBook, Paperback, and Hardcover (323 pages) | ASIN: B00I9I8X04, ISBN: 9781433679315, and 9781410470485 | Series: A Dear Daphne Novel | Origin: NetGalley

 

Cover: Courtesy of B&H Books

Thoughts:

In A Dear Daphne Novel by Melody Carlson titled DATING, DINING, and DESPERATION, this author drops us in on Daphne Ballinger’s episodic life. Daphne struggles to be Dear Daphne, gain her inheritance, and find a spouse to keep her past as her present with a promising future!

Sure, it sounds complicated, but it’s really very simple. To uncover Daphne’s inheritance, you’ll discover the conditions that must be fulfilled to allow it to pass to her. Moving back to a home and a town from her past and departing New York isn’t something she knew she’d wanted until she has it.

However, she may not get to keep this new start.

Daphne is growing, changing, and her faith is strong, but she’s beginning to believe her Aunt Dee might’ve had it all wrong. In fact, through this frantic rush of trying to find a husband, she was missing out on finding the right man.

Now, she is just beginning to accept the past isn’t meant to be hers anymore. Although she wants this life, it might not be His will.

Is she wrong for trying to make Aunt Dee’s will a reality? She’s meeting many men, new friends, and finding out much about herself all while trying to keep it all. When someone else is dying, she remembers what is most important.

Will she unearth something else too?

***This opinion is my own.***

 

Preview:

Melody Carlson’s, A Dear Daphne Novel, DATING, DINING, and DESPERATION shows Daphne Ballinger being left to her own devices for the syndicated column Dear Daphne, and she’s also left on her own to find a spouse. Nevertheless, these daunting tasks go hand in hand with a life she now enjoys, and Daphne wants to stay nested here.

It all starts with Aunt Dee’s will conditions to be met and they are causing this writer great angst.

In her rush, she mistakenly believed this aunt’s lawyer was the one, but he never was the one. The ticking of her deadline clock means she must be married by a certain date. It’s months away but time is flying by with her writing, gardening, and the blues over the lawyer not being the one.

However, life is about to get more interesting once a new neighbor moves in across the street. Sabrina is newly divorced, southern belle who starts to take Daphne’s cause under her wing, but all the men seem interested in her neighbor.

Well, at least, Daphne’s getting out more, but the more she’s getting out is the more she losing attachment to her own will. She’s beginning to wonder if God’s will doesn’t match her own will or even Aunt Dee’s will.

It is not until someone’s child needs her that Daphne’s world shifts and something no longer matters much anymore. Maybe what she is finding is worth so much more?

Cover: Courtesy of Redbud Press

Review of REDEEMING CADE by Susan Crawford

Publisher: RedBud Press | Published: December 6, 2015 | Format: eBook | ASIN: B01928YM3G | Origin: Publisher 

 

Cover: Courtesy of Redbud Press

Cover: Courtesy of Redbud Press

Thoughts:

REDEEMING CADE by Susan Crawford is a satisfying tale about life-changing redemption,  new hopes, and opposites attracting in a story threaded with doubts from page one!  

Upon meeting Cade McGuire, your heart will swoon over who this man has become. His plans take us into his heart and into his life with a troubled past as his present is looking up. A new job and a quest to help means it’s game on until he’s pinned into a corner by one slick politician and some of her family.

Around Darby Phillips, you’ll discover a political family that touts a war chest of financial backing, politics by the bloodline, and a set of parents seeming to pull the strings and run the show. Darby’s sibling is one you’ll like, but you’ll wonder about what happened to her brother.

Is he alive and what did he do?

***This opinion is my own.***
 

Preview:

Cade McGuire is an ex-con and is beginning as an assistant director at the same mission where his life was altered, forever.  

On day one, all was going great and change was in the air as a new entertainment district would be coming to the neighborhood to pump jobs into the area giving new beginnings for many to come. Well, once Cade attends the press conference and the young politician running for a City Council seat fails to include details about the mission, Cade questions Darby Phillips only to learn of its demise.

With microphones on and cameras recording, Cade dares to invite the plastic smile politico on a tour of the mission to meet the future displaced occupants and unearth the good people this mission helps and the need for it.  

The last thing Darby Phillips needed was a challenge she couldn’t turn down.  

This presser was a lead in to a fundraiser for her campaign and that’s another downside to her career.  Everyone wants something from someone and favors are begged and given, but it’s all worth it for the goal. However, she begins to wonder about something.  

Does politics and helping people blend or does either one cancel out the other?  

 

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Review of WHEN LOVE RETURNS: A Novel by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Publisher: WaterBrook Press | Published: September 22, 2015 | Formats: eBook, Paperback, Hardcover, and Audible (352 pages) | ASIN: B00RKVWRJY and ISBN: 978-0307731357,  978-1410483294, and  Audio ASIN: B013XB2YWY | Series: The Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy | Origin: NetGalley

 

Thoughts:

Inside WHEN LOVE RETURNS by Kim Vogel Sawyer, we drop into the lives of several connected families and right in the center of their struggles, their regrets, their rebirths, their worries, and their need to know.  

Whether being torn from it, running from it, and running away from it, the past leaves scars, pain, and needs. Will any of these be overcome?  

Two babies, three mothers, and four families live with the memories of what had been, what never has been, and what could never be inside teen pregnancy.  But when second chances come anyway, even though do-overs are not possible and family doesn’t always mean what someone thought it did, everyone gains and everyone will lose.  

When the past and present meet, can love return? 

***This opinion is my own.***

 

Preview:

WHEN LOVE RETURNS by Kim Vogel Sawyer shows Suzanne Zimmerman living at the B & B. She’s no longer estranged from her mother and family, but she’s wading in the waters as mother to a new adult, independent daughter, Alexa Zimmerman. However, she is losing the battle in dealing with her yet to be revealed biological daughter, Anna-Grace.

Watching Anna-Grace and her family is abrasive to Suzanne’s bruised heart, but now that Alexa wants to find her birth mother, the relationships, the pain, the past, and the present are pushing down to crush a mother’s soul.

The biological father of Anna-Grace is in the picture remotely, and she plus he struggle to keep their relationship as mere friends. How is that possible?

Seeing him brings more pain and seeing him brings feelings she thought were gone too.

She’s been avoiding Paul, the feelings, and the discussions until the leak in the basement makes it impossible. She needs his service, but he needs her help. When love returns, will there be casualties?

savingjustice

Review of SAVING JUSTICE by Susan Crawford

Publisher: RedBud Press | Published: March 24, 2015 | Format: eBook | ASIN: B00T3P5KLM | Origin: Publisher 

 

 

 

Thoughts:

Inside Saving Justice, author Susan Crawford crafts an amazing story featuring down-to-earth characters and their troubles!  

I enjoyed meeting Kinley Reid who is a teacher inside the neighborhood of Martindale at an elementary school and Mr. Nash McGuire who is grumpy fellow with a helpful heart who grew up on the frontline of Martindale’s issues. However, it was Justice who stole my heart.

Justice is a child with great weight on his small shoulders and a big need for family and love. He has much good inside of him, but he is being taught the darker side of bad and lands in a heap of trouble.

***This opinion is my own.***
 

Preview:

In Martindale’s school system, Kinley Reid’s job isn’t just about her grade’s curriculum. She’s all in for her students. Many of the children live in a troubled area ravaged by violence, drugs, and decay, but this teacher wants to make a difference because she knows firsthand how bad things will happen.

Meanwhile, Mr. Nash McGuire suffered through a life that was both hard and dangerous in Martindale. Thankfully, he made it out alive, but he’s been dragged back to the area by long-ignored family obligations when he meets a teacher named Kinley Reid. This woman doesn’t belong here in Martindale and has to realize he doesn’t and won’t share her optimism, but can he ignore her?

However, when Justice finds out his teacher is at his home about his skipping school it becomes just the beginning of a downhill spiral of bad choices, bad behavior, and bad connections that eventually lead him right into juvie and court.  Once help arrives, it can bring him more choices, better options, and some friends.  He will lose some people from his life if he chooses the help, but what will he gain?

 

thecaptiveimposter

Review of THE CAPTIVE IMPOSTER (The Everstone Chronicles Book 3) by Dawn Crandall

Publisher: Whitaker House | Published: April 1, 2015 | Format: eBook | ASIN: B00VKLN3JS | Origin: Author (Advance Reader Copy )

 

 

Thoughts:

History? Mystery? Deception? Redemption? Romance? Yes! The Captive Imposter (The Everstone Chronicles Book 3) by Dawn Crandall pulls you in from the start as you wonder why the wealthy heiress, Estella Everstone, is in someone’s employ pretending to be a woman without.

Unraveling the real Estella Everstone from her assumed persona of Elle Stoneburner proves difficult until we are brought back to her family business in her current situation. Inside a place where she can’t let it be known about her connection to this family, she’s home but is all alone, leading us on to an even larger mystery.

***This opinion is my own.***

Preview:

In The Captive Imposter by Dawn Crandall, we see and learn things that only deepen the real Estella Everstone’s background to uncover much about her former life.  It becomes easy to see how she lived in wealth while she worries over what she would have thought about a woman in her own circumstances today.  The beauty she’s found in a different station of life is not what she’s let go of already.

It’s when we meet her former love interest who is still busy seeing this woman of her past and not who she has become, we understand the most. However, it is the man who takes an interest in her in these days that we wonder about.  

Is Dexter Blakeley all that he portrays?

From the onset, we see a stern man who doesn’t think much of women.  He’s handsome but commanding, and at most times, an off-putting personality until one night when Dexter Blakeley becomes human to both us and to Elle Stoneburner.  

However, on this night, the mystery surrounding Dexter will only deepen and his feelings seem to increase.  Will he be consumed by the lies of others and what about the secrets he’s holding?